What made Johnny Manziel a special prospect coming into the 2014 NFL Draft was his marketability on and off the field. Combine that with a ceiling that could equate to Manziel being a high-level quarterback for years to come and you have a special player.
After acquiring the 22nd overall pick in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that allowed the team to select Johnny Football, the impact of having the 21-year-old quarterback on the roster is already showing for the Browns as the organization has sold several hundred season tickets hours after the selection was made.
Within 25 minutes of Johnny Manziel pick, #Browns had sold 200 new season ticket accounts and had 300 renewals.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) May 9, 2014
Regardless of what you think Manziel’s ceiling is, there’s no true guarantee that he molds into a good quarterback. We’ve seen plenty high-ranked quarterbacks flame out in the NFL, many of those players being on the Browns, but he’s a fail-safe option as he’ll draw a crowd during the first few years of his career. And he’s an attraction Cleveland could use to draw in extra revenue. Per ESPN, the Browns ranked 9th in overall attendance last season, slightly edging out the New England Patriots who ranked at ten. Adding Manziel to the equation surely means they’ll increase in this category as the quarterback’s addition could easily lift the team in top-5 range, depending on if the Manziel army remains consistent when the season begins.
The Browns fortune hasn’t been great. They’ve made countless personnel mistakes and just haven’t been able to catch a break in a division alongside Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. But this could be the beginning of a new era. The fans are buying into it and now the team will have to live up with the expectations that come along with drafting an enigma such as Johnny Manziel.