Lil’ Johnny Can Stay, Until Mr. Hoyer Says So

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Cleveland Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine told the media that the recent talk about Brian Hoyer’s contract “could be a distraction, if they let it”. This all started when Jason Cole of “The Bleacher Report” stated that his sources with the Browns feel that Hoyer would not sign a long term deal as long as Johnny Manziel was a Cleveland Brown. Hoyer and his agent Joe Linta have since denied any truth to Cole’s report and deflected questions regarding contract talks to a later date. Linta has stated that Hoyer would be fine with waiting until after the season to negotiate a possible long term deal.

A great deal can be explained from the actions of the Browns and Hoyer’s camp this week. We have to remember that Hoyer is the good soldier. For the prosperity of his team he would find it necessary to quickly disavow that his focus lies anywhere but Jacksonville at this juncture. However, his decision to reserve any negotiations until after the season only substantiates the idea that he would like some sort of perspective regarding Manziel. One would think that a first time starter realizing sustained success would love to solidify a prosperous contract while he has a firm grasp on some valuable leverage. An injury or even a mini run of subpar play could quickly remove Hoyer’s new found clout, yet both he and his agent are quick to express their desire to see things through.

Clearly, the Browns are in no place to make a drastic proclamation of future commitment to either Hoyer or Manziel. Hoyer knows this and he also knows that at the end of the season that could be a very different story. If Hoyer continues to play at a high level, and I fully expect him to, he will be staring $10-12 Million a year in the face. The Browns would surely be his first choice unless the obnoxious presence of a spoiled little Manziel remains in his shadow. Of course he wants the assurance that he is the starter and that at the first sign of trouble, the grumblings about Johnny won’t be there. Let’s be honest, the only headlines Manziel has made have been completely unrelated to pro football. Why would any starter want to deal with the off-field nonsense mixed with an air of undeserving entitlement from his undersized punk back-up quarterback?

This decision is no brainer for the Browns when the time comes. Hoyer has displayed every attribute that we have been missing in a Browns quarterback. So what if the quarterback of the future isn’t the guy we drafted but is instead the hometown kid that finally got his shot? I for one am perfectly fine with that story and would fully support the departure of Johnny Football. The Browns won’t get much back for him, maybe nothing at all. However, they would be gaining so much in Brian Hoyer for the long term. The idea of a quarterback in this town for more than two years seems so peculiar, just imagine what could be accomplished.

By: Brad Ward

Follow @CST_ BradWard

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