NFL News: Manziel texts Browns mid-draft to “come and get him”

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Manziel
Adam Hunger/ USA Today

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Manziel

Does anyone know if Browns quarterback coach Dowell Logains is homeless? In an interview with Bo Mattingly, host of “SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly,” the Cleveland coach described a scene during Day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft where Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel sent a text that may have helped tip the first domino in the trade that ultimately led to the team making the player one of the most discussed selections of the weekend.

“We’re sitting there and they keep showing Johnny on TV and we’re going back and forth, Johnny and I are texting,” Loggains said to the Arkansas-based host. “He shoots me a text that says, ‘I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there and wreck this league together.’”

Loggains says that he then forwarded the text to team owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager Ray Farmer, which then led to Cleveland doing what it took to bring Manziel aboard. Loggains confirmed that Manziel was high on the Browns’ draft board and has a big fan in team owner Jimmy Haslam. Out of the 14 quarterbacks the team considered, it was Manziel’s name which sat at the top.

This, of course, will bump any anecdotal discussions surrounding Haslam and an alleged homeless man who told the billionaire to select Manziel—because Browns. That story was fun while it lasted. As more and more details surrounding the quest to add Johnny Football leak out, it becomes that much more apparent how much both parties are looking forward to the future.

[Related: Jimmy Haslam and Johnny Manziel: A match made in the south]

(Photo Adam Hunger/ USA Today)

  • Kunal

    Some national media outlets are taking this story to mean that Haslam made this decision and pushed the front office to take him… I’m not sure how you can come to that conclusion from this but whatever…..

    In any case I love this story. Shows that he really wants to be here contrary to what the media is saying. I’m excited to hopefully watch him “wreck this league” for a long time.

  • MrCleaveland

    Jimmy’s next text to Logains is going to be brief: “TMI. I don’t need this.”

  • DPatton

    Quite honestly, I’m not sure how to take this story. Is this

    A. A great story about a dynamic player who really buys into the town, its struggle and has the passion to bring a championship to the city, or

    B. Is this a cloak and dagger attempt to hide the fact that things aren’t what they say they are in Berea?

    And what the heck is Logains thinking? Making a statement that so fundamentally differs from the “spin” that was disseminated from Haslam and Farmer?

    Sometimes I wish being a Cleveland fan wasn’t so complicated…

  • Natedawg86

    Just enjoy the ride bud

  • Hopwin

    Ah suddenly I understand this posting in the PD Classifieds:
    WANTED: Quarterback’s Coach for perennial losers on the upswing!

  • humboldt

    I can’t wait for the football playing to start so that we can watch these utterly frivolous stories about ‘what happened on draft night’ fade into oblivion. This has been a total feeding frenzy for local and national media, and nothing more. The epitome of sound and fury signifying nothing.

  • DPatton

    “Enjoying” since ’84…

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Johnny said this himself in an interview the day after round one. I’m just unclear why it wasn’t a story until now.

  • MrCleaveland

    As far as “wrecking this league together,” Johnny Hotshot is putting a big target on himself. Lotsa DEs, DTs, and LBs will be licking their chops for the chance to knock some of the bravado out of him if he thinks this is going to be easy. Hope his thumbs aren’t writing checks his arm can’t cash. It’s time to lay low.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Except unlike the others I kinda like this one especially the part about wrecking the league. It’s time they wrecked something other then their franchise!

  • bossman09

    I enjoy these stories. I think draft days really are “cloak and dagger” although we all tend to read way to much into this stuff. I think the story lines are fairly consistent –
    1 – The browns rated Manziel above the other QBs
    2 – The browns were not convinced he was worth a #4 pick and wanted to get a top tier talent (Watkins, Mack, Gilbert, Clowney et al)
    3 – The feel the got top tier talent AND a 1st next year
    4 – They wanted manziel as well as a “top tier” player so they made a move.
    5 – Manziel is happy to be here – maybe because he like the organization or maybe because he like the chance to be a hero. Either way I’m OK with it.
    6 – It’s possible the browns thought they were going to select Bridgewater @ 26 BEFORE Johnny slipped past 16 and they then said, “scratch that, let see if we can make this happen”. That may account for the Bridgewater speculation.

  • humboldt

    It’s nice that he ostensibly wanted to be here. That was part of what made the film Draft Day so touching to me – Cleveland is so rarely a place that players express a desire to come to.

    Unfortunately, this pleasant anecdote is embedded in mouth-breathing speculation about Haslam’s power-play in the war room, and the Browns alleged mishandling of the Johnny Manziel era with media access. Drives me crazy.

  • RGB

    Reminds me of Bryce Harper. Many MLB pitchers were relishing the chance to stick one in his earhole, due to his high school and minor league antics.
    But, once he got called up, he had the wherewithal to act more professional.
    “That’s a clown question bro”, is still one of the all-time great interview quotes.
    Let’s hope Manziel can follow a path similar to his.

  • humboldt
  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Talk about putting a ball on a tee for shit-sports-talk-radio-hot-takes.

  • Pasto

    The Johnny Machine. Loggains said himself that Haslam liked Manziel since Day 1 & they knew they needed to get ahead of KC to get him. The text is “cute” but just another piece of the machine, man. I do like that he wanted to come here that bad tho.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m over this stuff so for me I don’t get upset anymore. It’s just the beginning unfortunately for you. Pace yourself.

  • architrance

    I read this more as: Did he want to come here? Maybe. Did he want to get drafted in the first round? Definitely. Did he text other teams too? I bet he did.

    But all this crap is blown out of proportion. Can’t wait for Brady Quinn 2.0!

  • saggy

    i know what you mean but i don’t think it’s a totally apt comparison.

    Harper was touted in high school as a guy who could be the next Griffey Jr. While Manziel earned some high school accolades, he was never on that level.

    Both athletes’ college (minor league) careers were full of substance – not just hyperbole – but Harper always had a standoffish, almost childish and petulant way about him, while Johnny has always seemed to be an inviting and playful sort. He was certainly Hollywood, but he has charm that Harper doesn’t possess and his teammates loved him. I don’t get the feeling – at the minor or major league level – that Bryce Harper’s teammates give two bits about him.

    And, frankly, Bryce Harper has been nothing more than an above average ballplayer.

  • BenRM

    Even Grossi is taking that route. I think it sounds like they already were excited about him and wanted him. And when he reciprocated that interest, they got jazzed and were like “let’s get this done now!”

    It should be a good thing. But of course, people like to take a #2 on Cleveland whenever they can.

  • saggy

    i have to think that if he did text other teams it would be known by now. It’s not like another front office isn’t going to jump at the chance to make Manziel (and the Browns) look dumb.

  • RGB

    When was the last time we had an above average QB? lol
    (One career season of Derek Anderson doesn’t count.)

  • architrance

    Who knows? But I can guarantee he’d be texting other teams too if they hadn’t gone and got him when they did. I read it less that he wants to be in Cleveland and more as he wants to get drafted as early as possible and he knew the Browns were interested. But whatever, lets see how he plays.

  • saggy

    I, personally, have not read that anywhere, so please provide a link if you can. It would be an interesting story to read.

    As for a player wanting to go as early as possible: that makes complete sense both ego-wise and salary-wise. It’s also not any sort of secret which teams need/want certain players, so there are obvious landing spots. I’m not sure that is much more than blotter.

    To me, maybe he was playing the hype machine, but since the original Johnny Cleveland posts (here on WFNY, anyways), he has always seemed to say that he was interested in Cleveland. I never felt the heat at any other landing spot.

  • saggy

    I, personally, have not read that anywhere, so please provide a link if you can. It would be an interesting story to read.

    As for a player wanting to go as early as possible: that makes complete sense both ego-wise and salary-wise. It’s also not any sort of secret which teams need/want certain players, so there are obvious landing spots. I’m not sure that is much more than blotter.

    To me, maybe he was playing the hype machine, but since the original Johnny Cleveland posts (here on WFNY, anyways), he has always seemed to say that he was interested in Cleveland. I never felt the heat at any other landing spot.

  • Harv 21

    I know nothing about Logains. Except that he doesn’t have the sense he was born with. Not sure how he stays in the good graces of a new FO, one that has been wonderfully tight-lipped so as to keep other teams guessing and maximize their leverage in trades and drafts. I’m sure there will be a little meeting with Ray Farmer before the rookie minicamp.

    You’re an assistant coach, dude. Save your war stories for family barbeques. Try to act like you’ve been in a draft room before.

  • saggy

    Who is Loggains? Oh, that’s right, the former Browns QB coach. forgot about him…

  • Harv 21

    yeah, the cameras showed Johnny working his phone a lot in the green room. Who knows to who or what he was texting before he started sliding into the teens. The kid is not exactly an introvert. But it’s all fine, no matter what the context. Self-confidence is a good thing in a QB, it will help him maximize whatever talent he turns out to have.

  • bcoop5881

    My first thought about this was similar. I thought Manziel was probably feeling the heat from sliding in the draft and it wasn’t so much his burning desire to be a Brown but to reach out to a known interested partner to draft him.

    Not saying he isn’t happy to be here, but saying if the Texans were about 4 spots away he might have been texting them to come and get him.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He’s here and this is a side story that should have had a ten minute life span.

    The annoying part is the national media taking the angle that Haslam imposed his will and gave a directive to make a trade. I doubt this is what happened at all. I’m assuming Farmer, Pettine, Haslam and scouts were in the room and there is probably a running commentary the entire first round. The general discussion in the room is “How far will Manziel slide? Where is the most reasonable draft position to still have a chance to get him? What would it take to move up to that spot? We’re getting close. The latest we could take him is probably 22 with the Eagles pick since someone will move above us to take him. What’s that? He just sent us a text that he wants to wreck the league as a Brown? Awesome. Haslam/Farmer/Pettine: Let’s do this trade. Yeah, let’s get it done. Make the call.”

    So I’m assuming it was a consencus/collaboration but the national media is all…”Hey, they’re the Browns. Their front office is broken. See! We knew it! Haslam won’t let them do their jobs. Knew it. Browns still a disaster.”

  • architrance

    Lol. Well the Browns are still a disaster. The only way they can change that is the only thing that matters: on the field.

  • bcoop5881

    Very true sir. I like the offseason more than the season for this very reason. The offseasons are full of speculation and hope. The seasons have been full of $hIt.
    Here’s to hoping that trend changes this year!!

  • cmm13

    Baseball prospects begin their Major League touting much earlier than high school kids to the NFL; so the comparison is on par in my opinion.

    I played winter ball in Venezuela; they had kids half his age speaking Spanish…

  • saggy


  • cmm13

    I don’t know much about Loggains either but according to the internetz he loves the Danger Zone.

  • cmm13

    “I have to think that if he did text other teams it would be known by now”

    Why would this be known by now?

    I mean I believe the Browns were the only team he sent an SMS to because we had the best maneuverability to get him out of the situation he was in.

    But I also believe that if we would have passed on him, his next message would have been to his agent to get him out of that mess.

  • saggy

    i explained above why we would know this by now: Other teams would love to contribute to the Manziel circus.

    If he texted one of them, it would make sense that they would have told the media about it by now. Then, instead of looking desperate (what I presume they would say about Cleveland) they would look savvy for not letting the animal (JFF) run the zoo.

    I am not saying Johnny didn’t have contact with anyone else, but i don’t think he said what he said to anyone else.

  • cmm13

    Sure, I can see that side.

    I can also see the side that most NFL teams do not appreciate a circus being run around them and are more interested in winning football games; so why add to the madness.

    Might be the reason the kid fell down the board. His actual football ability does not outweigh the media madness that comes with him.

    Of course, none of this matters a lick until the kid actually throws an NFL pass

  • #1HappyStreet

    no surprise that is was apparently haslam that gave the order to draft manziel. another reason why i have felt since the fraud accusations came out that haslam will wreck this organization even more than it already has been. it already has been a train wreck, but it will derail further into a middle school and then a hospital.

  • Woods

    One thing that Loggains demonstrated with his interview is the “easy dishonesty” of “I never told Ray Farmer to pick Johnny Manziel” Haslem.

    Another self inflicted wound after what is probably the best draft in 20 years.

    Some words of advice for Mr Loggains – it is not a good idea when hoping for continuous employment, to contradict the narrative that your managers have been providing to the media. What you say on a radio station in Arkansas will not be confined to that media market when the subject is Manziel and the NFL draft.

    This is now “water under the bridge”. Move on, learn your lesson and be successful with all of the quarterbacks on the roster.

  • mgbode

    how can we spin JFF actually wanting to be a Brown poorly? oh, I GOT IT, blame that owner people do not like because of the whole truck stop FBI thingy-majiggy. Front office turmoil, split coaching staff…I can hear the page clicks.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron