This weekend, a video surfaced of Johnny Manziel holding a champagne bottle and singing to Future, which would be a standard bit of athlete-out-on-the-town goofiness if not for the fact that the Browns quarterback spent two months in rehab earlier this year. The clip appears to be from a Friday party at a nightclub in Austin, Tex., but when asked about it on Monday, Manziel disputed the date while admitting he hadn’t watched it.
Manziel’s defense included him literally saying, “Videos can be old.” Via Cleveland.com:
“You know there’s all kinds of people that come out,’’ he said. “Videos can be old. Videos can be all kinds of different things. So like I said, I’m not in a state to be able to speak on it because my focus has been on this today and what really matters in this game on Monday. So that’s where my focus has been. I did get a chance to relax. So I haven’t seen anything like that, and I’m not going to be able to speculate on it right now.”
Asked specifically if the video was old, Manziel said, “I haven’t seen it, so I can’t speak on it.”
Manziel’s technically right. Videos can, in fact, be old. The age of the video can be narrowed down by what it contains, however. The song playing in the background is “March Madness,” by Future, which was released in the middle of March. Manziel entered rehab at the end of January, and reportedly left in April. The original video also had the caption “Sippin on Dom Perignon for no reason with #johnnymanziel,” which references a lyric from “Diamonds Dancing,” a song by Future and Drake. That track was on the mixtape “What a Time to Be Alive,” which was released on Sept. 20 of this year. The video could be old, but it can’t be that old.
There’s another possibility: Manziel was at an extremely cool party, and the DJ had exclusive access to Future’s music before he actually released it. We can’t rule it out.
Update (3:44 p.m.): The Browns have announced that Josh McCown is now the starting quarterback. Manziel isn’t even the backup; he’s now the third-string QB behind Austin Davis. Here’s a portion of head coach Mike Pettine’s statement:
Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.
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