Johnny Manziel sporting a Patriots jersey looks like it’ll be strictly reserved for photoshops and Madden.
Inside his Sunday notes column, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that the Patriots are no longer in the hunt for the former Texas A&M star now that they’ve drafted Danny Etling out of LSU in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. New England typically carries three quarterbacks on the roster and with Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer already intact, Etling takes that final spot.
This isn’t without the Patriots doing their due diligence on Manziel however. New England, along with 13 other NFL clubs, was present for Manziel’s Pro Day in San Diego where he completed 36 of his 38 passes. Less than a week later, they were at Texas A&M’s Pro Day where he also threw. According to a report from the Boston Herald earlier this offseason, the Patriots met with Manziel before and after that A&M workout.
During that workout in San Diego, the Pats reportedly took him inside the facility to get an official weight on him as well, so clearly they were making sure they had their bases covered when evaluating Manziel.
On top of those two flirtations with Manziel, Reiss reports that the Patriots even considered an additional meeting and/or workout with him before they went in a different direction with the Etling pick.
New England was also Manziel’s first pre-draft visit back in 2014, so the two sides clearly have some history together. But a future? That seems a bit dicy at the moment.
If Manziel had it his way, however, he’d be heading to Foxboro. The quarterback told TMZ Sports earlier this offseason that he’d “go to New England in a heartbeat” as he snapped his fingers, emphasizing the zero hesitation on his part. He also was pretty receptive about the prospects of taking over for Tom Brady one day saying, “Never, you learn from the GOAT.”
Manziel rose to national attention with his electrifying play at Texas A&M which earned him a Heisman Trophy back in 2012. He was later drafted No. 22 overall by the Cleveland Browns at the 2014 NFL Draft, but flamed out of the league due to poor performance and off the field issues.
Following the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots do need to identify a successor to Tom Brady in the next year of so, but it doesn’t appear Manziel will be it.
As for Etling, his seventh round draft status would suggest that he isn’t the heir apparent to No. 12, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter highlighted in his post-NFL draft podcast that New England is pretty high on him.
“I heard that name before the draft as the guy they would be taking later on if he were free,” Schefter said.
“I’m not telling you he’s going to be the guy there,” he continued. “They see something in him to keep him around and to develop him and then he’s got a chance. We’ll see what happens from there. You’re not taking a guy at that spot thinking, ‘Boy, you got the successor to Tom Brady.'”
In 2017, Etling completed 60 percent of his passes for just under 25 hundred yards to go along with 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions.