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Man walks onto Browns practice field hoping for tryout

Browns dog poundA random person wandered into the Cleveland Browns’ practice facility on Tuesday hoping for a shot at making the team, according to a report from the Associated Press. The ambitious fella, a former high school football player from New Mexico, brought his own pads and everything.

With an equipment bag strapped to his back, the guy supposedly entered the Browns’ indoor field house and walked onto the practice field. He appeared to be in his mid-20s. He later told reporters that he traveled to Cleveland hoping to get a shot with an NFL team. Unfortunately, he was escorted off the field before he got a chance to catch passes from Johnny Manziel.

How can you not admire the balls on this guy? He obviously thinks he has what it takes to play in the NFL, so why not start with the team that has won more than five games in a season just twice since 2003? That’s a power move if I’ve ever seen one.

Johnny Manziel texted Browns to tell them to draft him

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns

A text message from Johnny Manziel to Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains during the draft convinced Cleveland that they needed to trade up to select the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Loggains was a guest on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly on Arkansas ESPN sports radio Thursday and shared the story of how Manziel influenced Cleveland to act.

“We’re sitting there and they keep showing Johnny on TV, and Johnny and I are texting. And he shoots me a text and he says, ‘I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck this league together,’” Loggains recalled, as transcribed by Cleveland.com.

“When I got that text, I forwarded it to the owner and to the head coach (Mike Pettine). I’m like ‘this guy wants to be here. He wants to be part of it.’ As soon as that happened, Mr. Haslam said, ‘pull the trigger. We’re trading up to go get this guy.”’

Loggains also says the Browns explored trades with Tennessee at 11 and Dallas at 16, though they ultimately did not make moves. He says they jumped up to 22 to take Manziel because they believed Kansas City would select him at 23.

Loggains also said Manziel was at the top of the team’s list for quarterbacks, which is pretty notable considering the report that said the Browns were going to take Teddy Bridgewater instead.

We already knew that Cleveland fans liked Manziel, but you better believe they’ll love him after hearing this. Many players — Bridgewater included — want to avoid a place like Cleveland. Manziel wanted to go there. I think this is just another reason why Johnny Football will deliver.

Cleveland Browns sign Miles Austin

Miles AustinThe Cleveland Browns announced Thursday that they have signed free agent wide receiver Miles Austin.

Austin spent his entire career from 2006-2013 with the Dallas Cowboys, but the team released him in March following three straight injury-marred seasons in order to save cap space.

Terms of Austin’s deal are not yet known, but we’re inclined to believe it’s a good signing for Cleveland. The Browns are likely losing Josh Gordon for at least part of the upcoming season because of another failed drug test, so they need more receiving options. Austin should be able to give them one for half a season or so depending on his problematic hamstrings.

The Browns did not select a receiver in the draft, which indicated to me they would bring in at least one option through free agency. Austin was the name who stood out to me because of what he’s done in the past (18 touchdowns, 2361 receiving yards in 2009-2010). He’ll be 30 for the upcoming season and he can’t stay healthy for 16 games, but he should help them for half a season, and that’s good enough.

Browns ban national media from minicamp due to ‘tight grip’ on Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns knew what they were getting themselves into when they drafted Johnny Manziel, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to stop it. Johnny Football brings with him a media frenzy. One of the only ways the Browns can stop national writers from flocking to him is to ban them from being around the team. Consider it done.

According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, the Browns will not be allowing any national media people to attend their rookie minicamp this weekend due to a “tight grip” on Manziel.

Oh, don’t you worry, it is going to be Johnny Football mania out there at some point. The Browns can’t ban the national media from being around the team for long. If they want to get Manziel acclimated before unleashing the dogs, I suppose that’s understandable. But as Hubbuch mentioned, they should never have drafted him if they can’t deal with the circus. It was part of the package.

Teddy Bridgewater: I told my agent I didn’t want to go to Browns

Teddy BridgewaterThe Cleveland Browns and Teddy Bridgewater appear to be playing a little game of “you can’t fire me, I quit.”

On Monday, we shared a bizarre report with you that indicated the Browns were 10 seconds away from drafting Bridgewater but decided to go with Johnny Manziel at the last second. Bridgewater claims it doesn’t matter, because he didn’t want to go to Cleveland anyway.

During an appearance on Tuesday’s edition of “The Dan Patrick Show,” Bridgewater said he told his agent the Browns aren’t the team for him.

“There was a chance, but I actually told my agent that that’s not the place I want to be,” Bridgewater claimed. “Throughout this entire process I’ve felt comfortable with the Minnesota Vikings. It’s a family environment and the players (are) a great group of guys, so I felt comfortable wanting to play here.”

Were the Browns about to draft Bridgewater when the former Louisville star’s agent informed the team that he did not want to play there? That seems doubtful. I’m more inclined to believe that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam strong-armed his football people into taking Manziel. Plus a homeless guy told him to do it, so…

H/T Paul Pabst

Report: Browns were 10 seconds from drafting Teddy Bridgewater over Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns

How certain were the Cleveland Browns that Johnny Manziel was their guy when they traded up to the No. 22 spot in the first round of the draft? That depends on who you ask.

According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, there is a “story going around” that Browns general manager Ray Farmer was about to select Teddy Bridgewater with the 22nd pick when team owner Jimmy Haslam stepped in at the last second.

A source told me that the card prepared to be given to Commissioner Roger Goodell for the official announcement in Radio City Music Hall originally had Bridgewater’s name on it. Then with 10 seconds to go, a new card replaced it with the name of Johnny Manziel, as a result of owner Jimmy Haslam’s order.

Browns spokesman Zak Gilbert told Grossi that he was in the draft room and that never happened. Farmer reiterated that Haslam did not force the Browns’ football people into making any decisions on draft day.

“I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Jimmy Haslam at no point demanded, requested or tried to influence the process in any way,” Farmer said. “He definitely asked questions. He’ll definitely give his opinion of what he thinks and all of those things are fine, but at the end of the day he trusted the football staff to make the decisions that we thought were the right decisions for this football team.”

There has been little to no buzz surrounding the Browns over the past several years, so you can understand why Haslam would have wanted to pick Manziel. He’s also a very good football player who brings a winning attitude. Plus, Haslam said a homeless person convinced him to draft Manziel when he was out to dinner days before the draft. There’s no way the change was made with 10 seconds left on the clock, right?

H/T The Big Lead

Vince Young will work out for the Browns

Vince YoungVince Young said last week that he has received some interest from NFL teams, and he was apparently telling the truth. On Monday, Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer confirmed an earlier rumor that Young and Tyler Thigpen will be given an opportunity to work out for the team.

“I think it’s a piece of the puzzle,” Farmer said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I wouldn’t say it’s the top piece. They both are mobile. They both are very good athletes. They both have had relative success — I know Vince you would easily say probably more than Tyler. That’s a good piece. I think (offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) would tell you that he likes a quarterback that is mobile. The offense definitely is going to require the quarterback to do different things, play outside the pocket to some degree.”

Both Young and Thigpen have been invited to participate in voluntary veterans minicamp, which will run from Tuesday to Thursday at the Browns’ facility. Young is now 30 and has not played in an NFL game since 2011, but Farmer said he has done enough to catch Cleveland’s eye.

“The interest in Vince is that he’s been productive,” he said. “He’s had success in the NFL. We wanted to take the opportunity to get a chance to see where he was. We had been kind of following him through the offseason and he had been doing some things that kind of caught our eye and made us kind of take note and wanted to see what that looked like in his own timeframe.”

When the Green Bay Packers released Graham Harrell last offseason, it looked like Young was destined to win a spot on the roster. Things never worked out, and he remained unemployed for the remainder of the season. The Browns will likely be looking to draft a quarterback next month, so they are in the market for a veteran backup. And hey, Vince could certainly use the money.