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Manziel signs contract

June 17, 2014 - Mike McLain
Johnny Manziel's growing bank account added muscle Tuesday when he signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns.

The rookie quarterback can now put the financial details of his job aside and concentrate on trying to win the starting job in what will be an interesting training camp competition with Brian Hoyer. Coach Mike Pettine said last week that Hoyer has a lead in the battle, but he said it's not as significant as general manager Ray Farmer suggested it was about one month ago.

The signing comes at a time when rookies are about to end their orientation period to begin a month of time away from football. Given recent photos of Manziel drinking at parties and, in one case, holding a handful of money, no one knows what to expect from him. Pettine has to be concerned about what the next month holds in store for the 21-year-old.

Much of what Manziel has done since the Browns picked him in the first round of the draft was harmless fun. He's young, rich and runs in fast company. What 21-year-old wouldn't take advantage of that to some extent?

The latest video was a bit disturbing. It showed Manziel holding a wad of money as if it was a telephone and using foul language.

Having fun is one thing. Partying in excess is another matter that could have an impact on his play. It also could shine poorly on an organization that doesn't need more bad publicity.

Manziel still has a chance to get off to a good start with the Browns. To do that, he needs to tone it done a bit. Have fun, but do so in a responsible way.

We will know a lot more about how responsible Manziel is in the next month. Is it all about his lifestyle and having fun in excess, or is it about the team and his role on it starting in late July?


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