May 9, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns first round draft pick Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) speaks during a press conference at the Cleveland Browns Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Why Did The Philadelphia Eagles Reject Johnny Manziel?


For a second, in my head at least, Johnny Manziel was a Philadelphia Eagle.

Living in Britain, I probably experienced the 2014 NFL Draft in a very different way to you.

I stayed awake for the first few picks, which started at 12:30am on Friday morning, before heading to bed shortly after the Texans made their first pick. Through the night, I woke a couple of times and checked the draft as I went. I noticed players of interest disappear, like linebacker Anthony Barr to the Minnesota Vikings. Eventually, I drifted off into a deep sleep.

When I awoke early on Friday morning, I grabbed my phone. Sleepily, I turned on the NFL app and scrolled slowly down the list of drafted players. I scrolled as slowly as possible, player by player, trying to relive the drama of the draft. Finally, I hit pick 22, where the Eagles had been scheduled to pick. My eyes shot across to the player selected:

Pick 22: Johnny Manziel.

My heart skipped a beat. My head was filled with confusion, anger and a weird sense of elation that the Eagles had just made what would have been the most discussed transaction in recent NFL history.

Then, after a few seconds I saw the Cleveland Browns logo and my heart sank a little, my breathing slowed and I returned to normality.

Anyway, for a few seconds, Manziel was an Eagle to me.

That got me thinking, why did Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly reject him?

Firstly, it’s a strong vote of confidence in current Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Going into the draft, the team hadn’t really quashed rumours of a Foles trade, so there was always the slim chance that it could have happened. Now, however, it is clear that Nick Foles is the man in Philadelphia.

Secondly, the Johnny Football sideshow would have swamped Philly. The team doesn’t need any distraction as they build towards, hopefully, a Championship future. The Eagles recently cut diva wide receiver DeSean Jackson, so certainly weren’t in the mood to throw another potentially volatile ego into the mix. This Philadelphia Eagles roster is clearly more about the team.

Finally, I’m not sure how much Manziel would fit this team. With the players that we have, the offense is geared towards a run first game, with running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles leading the way. When the ball is thrown, it’s far more likely to be quick slants to slot receivers like rookies Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff, or the tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz. Nick Foles has proven himself to have the ability to make those throws and has also developed a chemistry with players like wide receiver Riley Cooper. Why risk that for a season with a boom or bust rookie under center?

I think the Eagles made the right choice in passing on Manziel, even if the thought of them drafting him had me ridiculously excited for a few seconds.

Check out the video below for a look back at Johnny Manziel’s pre-draft scouting report:


Next Eagles Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2121 Aug7:30Pittsburgh SteelersBuy Tickets

Tags: Johnny Manziel Philadelphia Eagles

  • trinity

    I think they are set on foles. I’m not sold on foles yet, but they made the right move by not drafting manziel

  • Dr Muon Funk

    Guess Foles will have to win a super bowl before any one is set. The dude just happen to get into the Football hall of fame for a 7 touch down game. But yeah.. why should we be set on a guy like that?

  • trinity

    Calm down. I never said he isn’t good. He was very good last season. And the 7 touchdown game was very nice, but I don’t really care about 1 game. His situation reminds me of Colin kaepernick. They are very different players on very different teams, but the situation is similar to me. CK came in and replaced the starter while the season was already under way, and took the league by storm. The guy was electrifying and pretty much unstoppable. I was impressed, but I reserved judgement because I wanted to see how he would do in a full season. Where he was unquestionably the guy, and defenses knew in the offseason to prepare for him. Just as I suspected, he took a bit of a step back. But was still good with the potential to be great.

    If you’re already sold on foles, then cool. I want to see how he does this season before I make my decision however.

  • Dr Muon Funk

    Well in all fairness.. 2 ints for an entire season is pretty stellar. But it’s a new year and anything can happen. Good thing you’re not a Redskins fan. RGIII would be packing his bags already.

  • cjhowardo

    I love Foles too, but I agree with trinity. Remember that Vick almost won the MVP the year he took over for Kolb… Foles needs to put his stamp on the job this year. Another pro bowl season this year and the doubters will be gone for good.

  • trinity

    Yeah, he had an awesome first season. And I think RG3 will be fine this year. Way better than fine actually, if he’s completely healthy. If foles keeps up the great work, I think the division will come down to the two of them.

  • trinity

    Very well said. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

  • Todd Robinson

    Nick Foles is the man! He’ll have a WAY better career than Manziel. Incredibly accurate quarterback.

  • kyle

    RGIII is Dunzo Calrissian.