Buccaneers: Johnny Manziel to Tampa Not Such a Bad Idea
By Zach Sauers
Johnny Manziel is beginning to make waves once again in the NFL… except this time it is in a positive manner. Could the Buccaneers look to bring in an experienced quarterback such as Manziel?
If you clicked on this article, you have already made up your mind whether or not the Buccaneers should give Johnny Manziel a second chance… but hear me out.
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In the years 2012-2013 the name Johnny Manziel grew substantially across the nation. Every Saturday football fans across the states would tune in to see what “Johnny Football” would do next. Manziel’s talents were remarkable and his reputation rose through the roof, even to a point where it was out of control.
The small 5″11″ inch quarterback day in and day out made his last name legendary… which helped draw comparisons to some of the NFL’s greatest. After his sophomore season, Manziel did what most young elite arms do and declared early for the draft.
During draft day the speculation of where Manziel would land was scattered, but come the 22th overall selection the Cleveland Browns called his name.
For his two seasons in Cleveland, Manziel’s playing time was very limited. The young gunslinger was perceived as too immature to have the starting role. Veterans such as Brian Hoyer and Josh McCown controlled the driver’s seat of the Browns franchise while Manziel learned from the sidelines.
Some may agree this would be a humbling experience for Manziel, but it was something he personally could not handle. Both his on the field and off the field antics caused stress in the organization and come March 11th, 2016 he was released by the team.
Since his release, the bad mannered Manziel had his life continue to spiral negatively where even his own family began to turn on him.
So why the downward slope for such a talented athlete? Could you relate this to the platform Manziel was put on by the media? Could it be the Cleveland franchise that has turned a multitude of impressive products into nothing? The choice and speculation is yours.
Recently the name Manziel has began to rise once again. The NFL’s castoff quarterback has begun to turn his life around and is striving to have a second chance in his athletic career.
So how do the Bucs tie to Manziel?
Back in 2014 the Bucs were linked with having interest in Manziel, even meeting with him prior to the draft. Former head coach Lovie Smith attended Manziel’s pro-day which would mean the then rookie General Manager Jason Licht did his research on the quarterback.
ESPN even published an article referencing Manziel as being on the short list of potential selections for the Bucs.
As you may know, Jason Licht and the Bucs eventually passed on a quarterback in the 2014 draft after their favorite, Blake Bortles, was selected. The team eventually used the 7th overall pick on Manziel’s teammate and best friend, wide receiver Mike Evans.
Now entering the 2017 season, the Bucs are once again in the quarterback market. Mike Glennon will be taking his talents elsewhere in hopes of landing a starting gig, while Tampa searches for his replacement.
The Bucs may once again look to fill their need through the draft, but it would be wise to grab a quarterback with game time experience if Jameis Winston would happen to go down.
Signing Manziel would ensure a backup who has actually thrown a pass in an NFL game (Ryan Griffin remark) along with a possible weapon in the long run.
If Manziel is truly serious about turning his life around (take a look at his Instagram account), the Bucs would make a great boom or bust business decision in signing him. A small prove it contract where Manziel can once again humble himself under the guidance of Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston would be ideal.
Not to mention having a comfortable atmosphere where Manziel is able to see his friend on a daily basis may help the young quarterback mentally.
Next: Buccaneers Re-Sign William Gholston to Five Year Deal
Who does not like a comeback story? If Manziel is able to use his life as an example of what not to do for future athletes and people alike like he is trying to do, give the man a chance.
We all know Licht will keep him on a short leash.
Like what I have to say? If so follow me on Twitter or meet me down in the comments and we can talk about anything Bucs. Siege the day.