Greg Cote

Greg Cote: Johnny Manziel systematically ruining his NFL future

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel looks on before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel looks on before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. AP

Most parents who’ve had teenagers have known this feeling. Your kid is out past curfew, you can’t reach him and you alternate between being angry and worried sick. Did he crash into a ditch? He finally comes home and you don’t know whether to ground him or hug him.

I feel like the Cleveland Browns are like that right now with quarterback Johnny Manziel, their adult child.

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. What are we going to do with you?

The kid keeps figuratively busting curfew and screwing up, and the exasperated parent, played by coach Mike Pettine, isn’t sure what to do. Tough love? Threats? Patience? Stricter rules?

So Manziel, recently named the starting quarterback again, parties in Austin, Texas, during the bye week and is filmed hoisting a bottle of Dom Perignon, which isn’t good considering he has been in rehab for a drinking problem.

“It’s disappointing. Very,” says Pettine, who benches Manziel.

The kid has a partying problem and self-discipline issues that, at age 22, threaten to derail and end a promising NFL career.

Isn’t that what’s galling? As we mark Thanksgiving, so many professional athletes with so much to be thankful for seem unable to stop themselves from behaving self-destructively. What a waste.

Manziel is systematically ruining his future in the NFL.

And everybody seems to see it and know it but him.

▪ Patriots at 12-5 odds and Cardinals at 5-1 (via Bovada) continue as Super Bowl favorites. Tom Brady is MVP favorite at a current 1-2, with Cam Newton 3-1 and Carson Palmer 8-1. Entering Week 12 the odds were 7-2 against Pats finishing 16-0 and 6-1 against Panthers doing it.

▪ New England is the fourth defending Super Bowl champion to start 10-0 or better the next season, after the 1990 49ers, 1998 Broncos and 2011 Packers. Pats can clinch division title Sunday and would be only the sixth team since 1978 and first since the 2009 Colts to do it in only 11 games.

▪ Five Dolphins are top 10 at their positions in latest Pro Bowl voting: Center Mike Pouncey, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and return specialist Jarvis Landry are sixth, strong safety Reshad Jones is seventh and punter Matt Darr is eighth.

▪ Tony Romo’s 50th TD pass to Dez Bryant (vs. Miami last week) set the Dallas combo record previously held by Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin at 49 TDs.

▪ Chiefs are first team since 1992 to win consecutive division road games by 16-plus points.

▪ Do games seem closer than ever? The 84 games decided by seven points or fewer are the most ever entering Week 12. Previous high was 81 in 1988.

▪ Bucs’ Jameis Winston last week became second rookie QB to throw five TDs in a game with no interceptions. The first? The immortal Ray Buivid in 1937.

Read Greg’s Random Evidence blog daily at and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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