Homeless person convinced Jimmy Haslam to draft Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns

What if I told you that a homeless person is the reason the Cleveland Browns selected Johnny Manziel? Would you believe it? Well that’s the story ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio was selling to viewers.

After the Browns traded up four spots to take Manziel at No. 22 overall in the draft, Paolantonio shared a story about what convinced team owner Jimmy Haslam to draft the Heisman Trophy winner.

As SalPal shared, Haslam can go out to dinner in his home state of Tennessee without being bothered. But when he goes out in Cleveland, he hears from the fans constantly. And it was the words of one particular person that convinced Haslam that he had to have Manziel.

[Video: Manziel and Nick Saban share awkward handshake at draft]

“I was out to dinner recently, and a homeless person was out on the street,” Paolantonio says Haslam told him. The homeless person “looked up at me on the street and said: draft Manziel.”

According to Paolantonio, that convinced Haslam that the Cleveland Browns fans wanted Manziel.

And you know, whenever the fans tell you to do something, you ALWAYS listen. Because they’re the experts and you’re not. Especially homeless people. They do a better job breaking down film than anyone in an NFL scouting department.

Also see: Johnny Manziel goes stag, no girlfriend at NFL Draft

Around The Web

  • Duane N.

    that picture is of the drug addict that Dr Phil tried to help..the one with the “announcers voice” ..he was homeless then and looks like it now..just goes to show that drugs will destroy a life

  • Dudley Davis

    As soon as i saw his picture i said to myself, “Wait A Minute!” Is that the very same guy that was homeless a few short years ago and was discovered while he was begging because of his “Voice?” People were so impressed with him and felt that all he needed was an opportunity and the next thing we knew, he got just that! He was all over the news, and whoever it was that got the ball rolling to do whatever they could to help get him off the streets and got him a job doing voice work and so forth must be sick to their stomach to know that he may have hit Rock Bottom again. It may have been that girlfriend of his that was still using that eventually brought him right back to his mud with him thinking that he could help her without being devoured himself all over again. How sad! Did the owner of the Browns not know who he is?

  • MikeHester

    Don’t believe the hype . . . Ted Williams is livin’ pretty well in the suburbs and doin’ TV and Radio commercial spots in Columbus. The picture is from back then, with a light touch-up.
    All Hail Photoshop!!!

  • toddbook

    Not sure I would tell anyone that a “homeless guy” convinced me to make any draft decision. What was the homeless guy’s research and analysis method? I think they did ok by getting him at 22 instead of their first pick, which still tells me they have concerns but are willing to take a chance. I don’t care much for his antics on and off the field but it will be interesting to watch how it all turns out.

  • SPB

    Will he get a percentage of the 1000 new season ticket sales that were sold last night? The Browns left Watkins at the table. And still could have gotten a QB like Carr or Bridgewater, who will make it in the NFL. Manziel is a smaller version of Tebow.

  • NotaryBoss

    Pfffffft. And the pic up there with Ted Williams? C’mon, pick a guy nobody knows. This is makin him look bad. People think he is homeless again. Read the comments.

  • Rob Lane

    Manziel is not a smaller version of tebow, they play completely differently you idiot. Why don’t you go and look at some stat lines, completion percentages and balls batted down from the line of scrimmage and then make an educated comment.

  • Willis B

    I know a man that was a Lawyer and he is homeless now, got depressed, however is is still smart, so you never know

  • zzzdjh

    They should make the homeless man the GM. Definitely would be an upgrade.

  • abn12

    “And you know, whenever the fans tell you to do something, you ALWAYS listen. Because they’re the experts and you’re not. Especially homeless people. They do a better job breaking down film than anyone in an NFL scouting department.” This is just a disgusting statement nothing but bullying the homeless!! screw you Larry Brown

  • Raymond Peterson

    Isn’t the “homeless guy” pictured the same one Dr. Phil tried to help by sending him to rehab on several occasions? The man with the “golden voice.”

  • Dan

    Exactly, you don’t know the homeless guys research. You don’t know who he was. So quit hating so badly (more than normal) cause you sure haven’t been given the opportunity to help try to draft players, and there may be significance in it with the owner. You a typical American scum bag who hates people.

  • toddbook

    Really? Do you really believe Paloantolio new him? Do you really believe Paloantolio thought the homeless man did his research? It’s clear by the rest of the story that Paloantolio was walking by a homeless guy he had no clue about and heard him say draft Manziel and that was it. Go preach your BS to someone else, or better yet if you are in America go live somewhere else you moron. I have absolutely no hate for homeless people you jerk, I actually have empathy for them. You don’t know anything about me either you dick!

  • Renate Jakupca

    The Article does not say how much Hazlam paid a “finders fee” to the homeless man.

  • RandyR

    To all of you . It is the same guy that was on the show and helped. I think it is more a PR thing than hey I listened to a homeless man. I live in Denver and we have a place less than a mile away. We do what we can for them from my church to the company I work for.

  • yougogirl

    Actually if the picture is accurate, that man isn’t homeless any more. His name is Ted Williams – he’s written 2 books and has done voice over work and announces for the Cavs.

  • John West

    Remember Ted Williams was on top of his game before becoming encumbered with multiple issues. He probably knows the game of sports in and out. I would like to see him as a sports announcer, if that’s possible.
    Hey, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Many “homeless” people have literally gone from the streets to great wealth. I think economist Suze Orman was once living out of her car!

  • scott jevans

    you come across as someone who just loves people…lol…stfu

  • scott jevans

    gotta love the keyboard warriors that casually lob insults and call people names through the internet…most of you would keep your mouths shut like good lil b*tches if you were in a room with other men…hilarious.

  • Hp B

    Oh, and can I come over to your house and watch the game?

  • EightBall343

    It amazes me how Tim Tebow who is bigger than Manziel was told by numerous NFL experts he could not make it in the NFL because he was not a pocket passer. Then comes Manziel who is much shorter than Tebow, not a pocket passer, and these same experts are wowed by him. Could it be Tebow’s Christian faith?

  • Jeff Crayton

    Could it be that Tebow just isn’t as good as Manziel?

  • MrFoo

    it could be….how many national championships did Manziel win? Oh none? How many did Tebow win? Oh two?

  • johnpaul

    Funny. I clicked on a picture of that bum drug addict DJ from Ohio who gained a brief amount of fame about 2 years ago. Is he back on the street?

  • Jay M

    Really Tebow won those? or did the Florida Gators win them. How many did Peyton Manning, Brady, Luck brees, Aaron rodgers win? Your Tebow argument is stupid.

  • GeneralIssue Joe

    If it the guy in the photo is the homeless guy they’re refering to I could swear he’s no loner homeless

  • Ion Pribeagu

    yes he did, also took Denver to playoffs, won 1 game in the first season playing more than half, won 75% but he was a Christian, white and clean boy…unusual..no news for the media..so they worked HIM out

  • Tom Jones

    this is bull, this isn’t a homeless man, whoever wrote this artiicle needs to learn what non- fiction is

  • NED

    There was a story on the internet 1+ years ago using that exact same image of a “homeless person”. What’s that all about?

  • Tom Jones

    it’s all about the fact that this guy was discovered, had a golden voice and now does Kraft mac a roni and cheese commercials as well as other things such as announcing some Cleveland sports teams games. He made it big after his discovery, this story using his face is deplorable.

  • NED

    Yep, that was it. His voice! And I agree,Thanks!

  • Tom Jones

    no problem!!

  • timr1235

    maybe the lamest sports story I have heard in the last year… sure, Haslam was influenced by a homeless guy to the point he used a first round draft pick..are any of you other guys buying what is being sold here?

  • infinity396

    it’s called a stock photo, they just modified the sign he was carrying. Photo isn’t meant to be of the guy that gave the tip..

  • Mark Tercsak

    That says a lot about the current state of affairs of the Cleveland Browns The owner does not trust his own people. Poor Manziel never to be heard from again

  • Mark Tercsak

    100% correct, The Problem people and the Nfl have is they are a cookie cutter league, if you are not a certain size, you are out, if you cannot jump a certain height you are out, If you donot run the 40 in a certain time you are out, Look at how many guys were world beaters when it came to the 40 yard dash but had a few critical issues, One they could not run the correct route, or they did not know how to run a pass route correctly, or they could not get open, but the biggest thing they lacked was they had hands of stone.
    No Tebow is not perfect team practice he sucks all great ball players suck at practice, is he a great passer, the answer is no, but there is a few things he has no one else has, A. he knows how to win, B. He gets the job done. and he had a good cast of team mates who believed in him when he was in school including his coaches, and if I were coaching I would take him in a New York minute.

  • trusake

    I trusted a homeless man too once, got taken for a $1 dollar

  • Soggytoast

    Manziel was taken number 22. He is not “wowing” anyone. You’re argument kind of falls apart on that point.


    The picture of Ted Williams is just a stock photo used as ref…Im thinking if this story is true Haslam should of made the guy GM.. The previous GMs have all been pros and business guys and only made the playoffs twice since coming back to Cleve

  • Mike Arienti

    If Manziel finds success quickly, that homeless man should be hired by the Browns. If Manziel doesn’t pan out, Haslem will be laughed at.