By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Are the Patriots interested in bringing Johnny Manziel to New England?
The Patriots took a look at the former Heisman Trophy winner for the second time this offseason, this time at Tuesday’s Texas A&M pro day. They even met with the quarterback before and after his workout, according to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, further fueling speculation that they may be interested in signing the quarterback.
The reports from Tuesday’s workout have been positive on Manziel, but the Patriots would probably be better off staying away from the former bust. He didn’t have much success in the NFL after the Cleveland Browns drafted him 22nd overall in 2014, playing in just 15 games and throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in his two NFL seasons. The Browns, who are always desperate for a quarterback, cut Manziel in 2016.
Worse than his on-field performance were Manziel’s off-the-field issues. He battled problems with drinking and drugs in college and while with the Browns, and entered rehab before his release. If those weren’t bad enough, he was arrested and charged with domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend in 2016. Those disturbing charges were later dropped under the condition that Manziel attend an anger management course.
It appears Manziel is trying to turn his life around, telling “Good Morning America” in February that he has stopped drinking. He also revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year.
Given the Patriots have taken a look at him twice this offseason, they appear to be somewhat interested in possibly adding him to their quarterback depth chart behind Brady and backup Brian Hoyer. He would probably come with little risk too, and the Patriots could easily cut him if he still doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the NFL, or if any of his past issues arise.
But the Patriots would be better off drafting a quarterback sometime in the next two years instead of taking on a project, and potential headache, like Manziel. People love a good reclamation story, but this is one the Patriots should stay away from.