Obviously, though, that dream never turned into a reality.
Instead, Gordon and Manziel have gone from being NFL players to guys trying to cling on to pro football careers.
But now, they can officially call themselves teammates again.
Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon both flamed out with the Browns
Considering how terrific he looked at Texas A&M, it didn’t qualify as a surprise to see Johnny Manziel become a first-round pick. However, if the Browns could re-do the 2014 NFL draft, they definitely wouldn’t go in the same direction.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner failed to live up to the franchise quarterback label bestowed upon him once he arrived as the 22nd overall selection. Manziel’s maturity issues prevented him from becoming a beloved figure in the city of Cleveland.
After two disappointing seasons that included seven interceptions in eight starts, the Browns moved on from the former SEC star.
Of course, his time in Cleveland coincided with Josh Gordon’s up-and-down tenure with the AFC North franchise.
The year before Manziel arrived, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound wideout broke out with a league-leading 1,646 receiving yards. However, that represented the crowning achievement of Gordon’s rocky career.
His 2014 campaign ended after just five games due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons, too.
Ultimately, Gordon joined Manziel as an ex-Brown in September 2018. The New England Patriots traded a seventh-round pick to acquire the physically-gifted wideout.
The 2013 first-team All-Pro only played 41 games after joining Cleveland as a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Supplemental draft.
Johnny Football recently signed with Fan Controlled Football
Johnny Manziel has yet to play another NFL down since the 2015 season. But that hasn’t stopped him from giving up on playing pro football.
In 2018, the 6-foot, 210-pound dual-threat signal-caller signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. However, after spending the first six weeks on the sidelines, Manziel got traded to the Montreal Alouettes in a multi-player deal that also involved draft picks. He completed 64.2% of his passes for 1,290 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions in eight games.
The Browns flameout then took his talents to the Alliance of American Football. Unfortunately for Manziel, he suffered a concussion in his second game with the Memphis Express.
The AAF suspended operations just three days later.
Despite experiencing another career setback, the 28-year-old Texas native recently found another opportunity to get paid to play football.
In late December, Manziel signed with Fan Controlled Football—a new spring league that will feature seven-on-seven action. However, the former first-round NFL draft pick didn’t exactly sound too excited or motivated to keep playing football for much longer.
“This isn’t me trying to be a comeback, redemption-type of tour for me to go back and play football anymore moving forward,” Manziel said two weeks ago. “After I play here, I probably won’t pick up a football again for another year. Two. Or maybe even longer than that. This is just an opportunity that got presented to me to get around a bunch of good guys who I feel like we’ll make great business connections with and I’ll have a lot of fun while I’m doing it.”
Manziel and Gordon just became teammates for the second time
Johnny Manziel ran for 67 yards and scored a touchdown in his FCF debut. Though the former Browns quarterback may not see himself as a long-term fixture in the league, he might change his mind now that Josh Gordon is also a member of the team co-owned by Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported via Twitter that the 29-year-old wideout will make his return to pro football as a member of the Zappers.
Last month, Gordon got suspended indefinitely by the NFL after the league rescinded his conditional reinstatement. At this point, it seems like he has exhausted all his chances to make a comeback as long as Roger Goodell remains commissioner.
But with Zappers owner Bob Menery delivering the news that Gordon will join the squad, Manziel can at least look forward to having a familiar face as one of his teammates.
Unfortunately for both Browns busts, whatever success they experience together with the Zappers (if any) can’t make up for what happened in Cleveland.