This isn’t how it was all supposed to go down.
Brian Hoyer and the Josh Gordon-less Browns were meant to start the season off 0-4, making room for Johnny Manziel to waltz on in and save the day, and in turn ushering in a new era of exciting football in Cleveland.
After all, if Manziel can sell jerseys he can sell tickets too, right?
But apparently Hoyer didn’t get the memo. Five games into the season he’s got Cleveland off to a red-hot start (by Browns standards) and he’s doing it without any real weapons on offense.
Hoyer’s completed over 60 per cent of his passes for over 1,200 yards, with 7 touchdowns and only 1 interception, giving him a solid rating of 99.5 on the season.
More importantly, however, is the fact that he’s winning games.
But Cleveland’s front office is taking a ho-hum attitude to the QB’s success. Reports are surfacing claiming that the Brown’s have no interest in extending Hoyer’s contract at this time.
And to an extent the feeling is mutual, with insiders saying that Hoyer won’t sign an extension as long as Manziel is on the roster.
He’s not being a dick. It’s just that he wants to play.
“I don’t think I need to say anything more than I’m from Cleveland, and this is where I want to be,” he said.
“But I’m also a competitor, and I want to be somewhere where I’m playing.”
Perhaps this is why contract extensions are best reserved for the off-season?
Donovan: If I were Hoyer, I wouldn’t sign right now and if I were the #Browns I wouldn’t offer right now. Just play football.
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) October 14, 2014
And, of course, that’s the next logical step in the process. Far too many teams have jumped the gun on a QB after just one full season of success or less (see Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Flynn), only to regret getting into a big money deal and having no choice but to cut ties and take a huge salary cap hit.
But we’ve got to be wondering what course of action the team’s management is going to take here should the Browns finish 2014 above .500.
On one hand the team would be foolish to cut ties with the first signal caller to lead the team to a winning season since 2007, but on the other hand ‘Johnny Football’ has got the potential to be great when Hoyer’s ceiling (regardless of his recent success) is “consistent starter”.
Additionally, it’s doubtful that Manziel would be happy to ride the pine for another season of grooming.
Having two quarterbacks worth keeping is certainly a new scenario for Cleveland to have to deal with. The team hasn’t had a year-in, year-out consistent starter since Bernie Kosar…and that’s not a Bernie Kosar joke, it’s the sad truth.
Speaking of Bernie:
— The NewZ (@TheUsNewz) October 9, 2014
Of course, Bernie doesn’t write the checks.