Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel officially signed his rookie contract today, which became a formality after he agreed to the four-year, $8.25 million deal Tuesday.
So what does Manziel think about signing a contract that, according to Spotrac.com, includes a $4,318,000 signing bonus, $6,702,625 guaranteed and a team option for a fifth year?
“Incredible feeling to officially sign my NFL contract,” Manziel wrote today on Instagram alongside a photograph of him signing the contract. “Such a dream come true and so many people to thank who have helped me reach this point in my life.”
Without that caption, there would be no public reaction from Manziel for a while.
There’s a possibility reporters who cover the Browns on a daily basis won’t be able to interview Manziel until next month because the team has shut down access to him. So questions about contracts, inflatable swans, “money phone” videos, learning the playbook or anything else are on hold.
Last week during mandatory minicamp, the Browns began carrying out their curious plan to keep Manziel and quarterback Brian Hoyer from talking to local reporters until July 25, when veterans will report to training camp. As a result, the Browns are preventing their fans from hearing from the two players who’ll compete for the team’s starting quarterback job this summer.
The Browns are having Manziel and the rest of their rookie class participate in community events this week. They spent time with disabled children Tuesday morning at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and they’ll participate in a youth football clinic Thursday morning at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Manziel was kept off limits Tuesday and a team spokesman said he wouldn’t be made available at Thursday’s event, either.
Although the Browns intend to keep Manziel’s silence intact until late July, it’ll be interesting to see how the NFL handles the situation next week.
As part of the NFL Rookie Symposium that’ll be held in Aurora next week, the members of this year’s draft class will participate in youth football clinics at the Browns’ headquarters in Berea. NFC rookies will attend a clinic Tuesday, and AFC rookies will do the same Friday.
Although the clinics are held at the Browns' facility, the league runs the events and invites reporters. The symposium has been held in Northeast Ohio the past three years, and all of the high-profile draft picks, including quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, have been made available to reporters at the clinics.
The NFL might not want to treat Manziel differently from his peers by denying interview requests. But if the league follows the Browns' strategy, fans won't know what Manziel thinks about the symposium unless he uses social media to let them know.