CLEVELAND — “Johnny Football” and the Browns are continuing their protracted mutual courtship.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is scheduled to spend today at Cleveland’s training facility in Berea, visiting with the franchise’s power brokers, according to a team source.
Despite myriad rumors to the contrary, Indians officials said the 6-foot-1, 209-pounder was not in attendance at their Tuesday night home game against Kansas City.
The Browns own the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, and are expected to use it on a signalcaller after releasing quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell on March 12. Projected starter Brian Hoyer also is recovering from reconstructive right knee surgery.
Though Cleveland did not attend Manziel’s pro day on March 27, he held a private workout Saturday for Browns general manager Ray Farmer, coach Mike Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains in College Station, Texas.
NFL teams are permitted to hold 30 official visits with rookies prior to the draft.
Cleveland has already welcomed Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, and reportedly will host Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Georgia’s Aaron Murray later in the week. All are quarterbacks.
Manziel — an undeniably charismatic and polarizing player — already has one Northeast Ohio connection as longtime LeBron James confidant Maverick Carter is his marketing representative.
While the Browns continue preparing for the NFL Draft on May 8-10, they will learn their 2014 schedule tonight at 8 p.m. The entire league slate will be unveiled as part of a three-hour program on NFL Network.
Cleveland is guaranteed at least one nationally televised game, as per the league’s broadcasting contracts with ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, and NFL Network.
The Browns will host Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay. Cleveland will travel to Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee.
In one other news item, former Browns president Mike Holmgren told Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King that he “really just should have coached the team” after firing Eric Mangini following the 2010 season.
Holmgren said he didn’t hire himself for the position because then-owner Randy Lerner was opposed to the move.
Instead, Pat Shurmur was given his first head coaching job — and Holmgren wound up making $40 million for his three-plus years at the helm before being fired by current Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam III.