On the night of the draft, the Cleveland Browns traded up to pick Johnny Manziel, but not until he sent the team a text message urging them to make the move.
Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains explained during a radio interview how it went down:
“We’re sitting there and they keep showing Johnny on T.V. and Johnny and I are texting and he shoots me a text and he says, ‘I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck this league together.’…When I got that text, I forwarded it to [owner Jimmy Haslam] and to [head coach Mike Pettine]…I’m like ‘this guy wants to be here. He wants to be part of it.’ As soon as that happened, Mr. Haslam said, ‘pull the trigger. We’re trading up to go get this guy.”’
It is an incredibly bold thing for a 21-year-old to do. But it is also exactly what most people would expect from the ever-confident Johnny Football and why so many people love him.
It is also a perfect example of the fuzzy line between myth and truth that always seems to envelop Manziel.
According to this story, the Browns traded up after deciding to draft Manziel.
However, this conflicts with another report from ESPNCleveland.com in which a source says the Browns were actually prepared to draft Teddy Bridgewater after trading up and even had his name written on a card ready to give to the commissioner.
According to that report, Haslem ordered a new card with Manziel’s name on it “with ten seconds to go.”
The Browns deny that this happened.
In the end, it may not matter which story is true.
But the story of Manziel’s text message is what Johnny Football is all about and will just add to his ever-growing legend.
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