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Browns’ owner says Johnny Manziel is a backup


The starting quarterback job in Cleveland will not be handed to Johnny Manziel.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said today that the Browns coach Mike Pettine has told Johnny Manziel to start acting “like a backup quarterback.”

According to Haslam, Brian Hoyer is the team’s starting quarterback and will remain the starter until Manziel is able to prove that he’s the right man to lead the team. Manziel “is not the starter. Johnny’s the backup,” Haslam said.

That may be the case for now, but if recent history is any guide, Pettine will choose Manziel to be the starter when the season begins: The last five quarterbacks to be drafted in the first round have all been their teams’ Week One starters. While Manziel may technically be behind Hoyer on the depth chart now, the Browns wouldn’t have used a first-round pick on Manziel if they didn’t expect him to surpass Hoyer. Preferably sooner rather than later.