The Buccaneers haven’t given up on the idea of re-signing Mike Glennon, but if Glennon does as he’s expected leaves via free agency the Bucs will soon be in the market for a backup quarterback.
That virtual likelihood makes you wonder if the Bucs haven’t suddenly given some thought, even for a moment, to the possibility of trying to sign exiled Browns washout Johnny Manziel.
The human train wreck that Manziel has become sent a message to Ed Werder of ESPN last week saying he’s sober, prepared to devote his life to football and needs just one team to believe in him.
Should the Bucs be that team? Well, depending on how they feel about Ryan Griffin, the heir apparent to Glennon that they’ve been grooming for two years now, they just might be.
The Bucs have made no secret of their belief in Griffin but we have yet to hear anyone say they think he’s ready to step in and lead their team should they somehow lose starter Jameis Winston.
That means the Bucs may as we said before soon be in the market for a backup quarterback, one like Glennon whom the Bucs believe has starting-caliber capabilities.
Manziel may or may not fit that description. Yes, he’s played a handful of games (14) in the NFL but with spotty results (74.4 passer rating). And then there’s the issue of his supposed sobriety.
Manziel says he achieved sobriety without professional help, which makes you wonder just what level of sobriety, if any, he’s actually achieved. Learning that level will require proper vetting.
That, though, is one of the things the Bucs excel at. They vetted Winston well and did the same last year before spending a second-round pick on defensive end Noah Spence. It’s a strength of theirs.
You would think then that if Manziel has indeed cleaned up his act and earned any kind of a shot at redemption in the NFL the Bucs are one team that will be able to find out the real truth about him.
It’s also well known that the Bucs were considering drafting Manziel in 2014 and ultimately, chose not to (like several other teams who needed a QB and took a different one in the first round or later in the draft that year).
What may detour all teams who have even slight interest is Manziel’s legal issues involving a domestic abuse case with his girlfriend in Texas. While it appears that most of that has been resolved in the Texas justice system, the NFL has made it clear that Manziel is facing likely league discipline under the conduct policy and he is looking at least a four game suspension and maybe, longer.
Finally, if all of the “baggage” above doesn’t scare you off, the issue of Manziel’s willingness to accept a backup role, which shouldn’t be an issue at all really, theoretically remains. But, this is a kid who is literally begging for a second chance and the best he can hope for is a shot to compete somewhere.
Should he express that willingness, though, the Bucs could probably do worse than signing a rehabilitated Manziel. Just think of what he could do for their offense, even if he was playing alongside Winston.
Given Manziel’s array of skills there is a way to get both he and Winston on the field together and that combination would certainly present opposing defense with some problems.
And let’s not forget that if Manziel were to join the Bucs, he would be reunited with the wide receiver that most helped to make him great at Texas A&M, Mike Evans.
Manziel and Evans were a devastating tandem during their college days playing for the Aggies. Working in some sort of sub-package, perhaps they could devastating again with the Bucs.
There are a lot of variables to consider here, but at the very least it’s a thought worth pondering, even if only briefly.