Johnny Manziel, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, has been benched after a video surfaced of the 22-year-old partying, holding a bottle of champagne, and rapping profane lyrics during the team's bye week.
Clearly an attempt to send a message, Browns coach Mike Pettine dropped Manziel from starter to third string, behind Josh McCown and Austin Davis, on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
A DJ in Austin, Texas, uploaded an Instagram video on Friday showing Manziel at a bar there with the caption stating: "Sippin' on Dom Perignon for no reason with Johnny Manziel,'' according to CBS Sports
. The video has since been deleted, but TMZ uploaded the clip to its site.
The celebrity gossip site's sources placed Manziel at two different clubs during the Browns bye week — RIO Rooftop nightclub and the Summit — where he "boozed with friends" at both locations.
"Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens," Pettine said in his Tuesday announcement. "I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip [John DeFilippo, offensive coordinator] and Kevin [O'Connell, quarterbacks coach] after practice today."
"Johnny will be the third quarterback. I've spoken to Ray [Farmer, general manager] and Jimmy [Haslam, Browns majority owner] to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support," he added.
The Manziel partying reports are troubling after the former Heisman Trophy winner publicly apologized to Cleveland fans in April after spending 70 days in a treatment center, according to USA Today.
Mary Kay Cabot, of Cleveland.com
, thinks this could be the last straw for Manziel.
"The latest incident means the Browns may have reached the end of their rope with Manziel and are ready to sever ties," she wrote. "I don't think they'll cut him before the end of the season, but they'll probably part ways sometime in the offseason. If Manziel can get himself together off-the-field, a team might be willing to surrender a draft pick for him."
"But this decision tells me the Browns don't trust him and probably don't think he's worth the trouble. He had one mandate: go home for the bye weekend and don't mess up. He promised he wouldn't. And then he did."
The NFL recently conducted an investigation into an alleged domestic dispute between Manziel and his girlfriend, but could not find any personal conduct violations, the AP reported.
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