How Bad of an Idea Would Johnny Manziel be for the Buffalo Bills?

Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) before the game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) before the game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buffalo Bills will likely need a quarterback, and Johnny Manziel wants to make a return. How bad of an idea would it be for the Bills to try him out?

Johnny Manziel said in a report to ESPN on Friday that he would like to make a return to the NFL. Manziel admitted to many things lately, saying that his 2016 was too filled with alcohol and that he had a lot of issues to work through, but claimed to ESPN that he is sober, and that he does want to give the NFL another shot.

The question now will be, does the NFL want to give a shot to him?

As with any offseason, plenty of teams will be looking for new quarterbacks, and the Buffalo Bills — as per usual — will be one of those teams. With Tyrod Taylor‘s contract being quite pricy for the Bills, the team may look to find a quarterback on a cheaper deal, thus parting ways with Taylor.

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The big question then becomes — who? Do the Bills go after a proven veteran quarterback, or do they find a rookie in the NFL Draft?

Or perhaps, do they take a huge risk and go after Johnny Manziel?

Now, I know what you’re thinking — What a downright awful idea for the Bills. — I completely agree, but just how bad of an idea is it, and are there any circumstances that would make it a bit better?

Manziel played just two seasons in the NFL before not playing at all this past season, and also going under some legal trouble. In his most recent season, Manziel had a completion percentage of 57.8 percent, threw for 1,500 yards, and five touchdowns. Manziel appeared in 10 games, starting in just six.

Manziel as a starting quarterback

This idea is completely bad for the Bills, and any thoughts that pop into Doug Whaley’s head like this should be promoted to immediately cease and desist. Manziel may be a cheap option for whatever team decides to gamble on him, but he’s cheap because he comes along with a huge risk, given the situations he has put the Browns in in the past.

Not only has Manziel never proven himself in the NFL to have the capabilities to be a starting quarterback, he has also never proven that he can stay away from the partying lifestyle. The Bills need a man under center with some order in their life to bring into the locker room, and Manziel is not that player.

If the Bills are really trying to usher in a winning culture to their locker room, Manziel is far from that.

Manziel as a backup

This idea, although still mostly bad, is one that doesn’t pose as much risk for the Bills. The backup quarterback is one that will, hopefully, not have to be relied on too much. Still, you do want all of your quarterbacks to be as sharp as possible, and as stated earlier, there’s no proof that Manziel can be that.

Here, however, the Bills could have some risk, but a potential for high reward. Manziel would serve as a backup and potentially learn under whatever quarterback the Bills choose to go with, and also whatever staff the team decides to put around Manziel. Then, if he ever manifests whatever it is he needs to in order to organize himself mentally and physically to be a starting quarterback, the return could be very high.

The risk may be high with Manziel, but if the Bills can configure a way to bring him in in a low-pressure situation at first, the reward has potential to be pretty high as well.

Still, there are no guarantees here, either, and the only situation where I could foresee the Bills doing this is if they get really desperate for a backup and Manziel is available for a very low price.

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Manziel as absolutely nothing to the Bills

This is probably the option that most fans want. Manziel has not proven himself in the league as a player, and has proven that he is, most likely, a troubled addict. While I certainly hope he got the help he claims to have gotten over this past year, the Bills quarterback situation is fragile right now, and there’s no place for Manziel to make it even worse.

Maybe if the Bills were in a different era with less questions about their roles under center, Manziel would be worth a workout, but unless the Bills have some serious tricks up their sleeves, they have no business to be messing around with Manziel this offseason.