CLEVELAND — Johnny Football has some NFL money to rub between his fingers.
Johnny Manziel agreed to a contract with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday, becoming the fourth of the team’s six draft picks to do so. Terms were not immediately available.
The former Heisman Trophy winner will enter training camp next month as Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback behind veteran Brian Hoyer, who has been limited during offseason practices while recovering from offseason knee surgery
Browns coach Mike Pettine has stressed that Manziel has some catching up to do, but has made it clear that Hoyer’s lead was not “insurmountable.”
The Browns moved up in last month’s draft to select the popular and polarizing Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick. Manziel rubbed his fingers together when he walked onto the stage during the draft, his signature “money” gesture that has endeared him to some fans and annoyed others critical of his reputation for partying.
Manziel went 20-6 in two seasons at Texas A&M, where he became the first freshman to win the Heisman and earned the “Johnny Football” nickname for his dynamic playmaking abilities.
More recently, he has been in the spotlight for his leisure activities, particularly a weekend getaway in Las Vegas. The 21-year-old Manziel hung out poolside with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, attended a UFC fight and sprayed champagne on patrons in a Vegas hot spot.
“If I want to go out and have some fun and it doesn’t hinder what my main goals in life are, then I really don’t care what anyone has to say,” Manziel said after a recent practice.
TEAM RELEASES WR BENNETT: The Browns released wide receiver Earl Bennett about a month after signing him to a free agent contract.
The team announced the move Tuesday on Twitter. No explanation was given for the release.
Cleveland signed Bennett on May 15 to help ease the blow from the potential loss of wide receiver Josh Gordon, who could be facing a potential lengthy suspension for failing a drug test.
The 27-year-old Bennett started 29 games and has 185 career receptions for 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns during his six seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was released this offseason in a salary cap move. He had 32 receptions for 243 yards and four touchdowns last season.
FITZPATRICK THE STARTER, WR JOHNSON A NO-SHOW: The Texans have a starting quarterback. Now they need star wide receiver Andre Johnson back in the fold.
New coach Bill O’Brien named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter, an announcement overshadowed somewhat by Johnson’s absence Tuesday on the first day of a mandatory three-day mini-camp.
Johnson hasn’t participated in any of the team’s voluntary offseason workouts and said last month that he wouldn’t attend these workouts, either. On Tuesday, he missed the opening day of workouts that are the last before training camp in late July.
Fitzpatrick signed with the team in the offseason a day before Matt Schaub was traded to the Raiders and O’Brien made him compete with the three other quarterbacks on the roster for the starting job.
RB LYNCH SHOWS UP TO MINICAMP: So much for concern that running back Marshawn Lynch would be absent from the Seattle Seahawks minicamp.
Lynch was in attendance when the Super Bowl champions opened their mandatory three-day minicamp on Tuesday. Reports surfaced last week that Lynch might consider not attending the practices in hopes of getting a higher salary for the 2014 season. Lynch signed a four-year contract before the 2012 season. He is scheduled to make $5 million in base salary this season plus per game roster bonuses.
Lynch could have faced fines of nearly $70,000 if he had decided to skip the minicamp. He did not take part in Tuesday’s practice but was on the field watching. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Lynch has a sore ankle and likely will not participate during the three-day camp.