Pettine: NFL probing Manziel incident
BEREA, Ohio (AP) Johnny Manziel’s roadside argument with his girlfriend could lead to punishment from the NFL.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that the league is investigating the high-profile backup quarterback’s domestic dispute last week. Manziel was questioned by police in Avon, Ohio, after his girlfriend claimed he was physical with her when the two had a heated disagreement while driving on an Interstate highway.
Colleen Crowley can be heard telling police on a dash-cam video that Manziel was physical with her, saying he ”he hit me a couple times.” Manziel was not arrested and Crowley, who police said appeared intoxicated, did not press charges.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy said Manziel’s situation will be reviewed.
”It is standard procedure to look into any incident that is a potential violation of our personal conduct policy,” McCarthy said in an email.
Pettine did not have a timetable on the league’s inquiry.
Following his rocky rookie seasaon, Manziel spent 70 days in a Pennsylvania rehab facility during the offseason for an unknown condition. It’s not known if he is in the league’s substance-abuse program. If he is and if he violated any conditions, Manziel could face additional fines or suspensions.
Pettine, who began his Monday news conference following an overtime loss to Denver addressing Manziel’s situation, said the 22-year-old was active for Sunday’s game because the team was satisfied with its investigation into the incident.
Manziel disputed the notion the team gave Manziel a free pass by having him available to play.
”We’ve dealt with it, it’s not like we ignored it,” Pettine said. ”Until we had all the information from the police and when the league concludes their report we’ll have a more total picture of what happened. But given the details that we had, we made our decision based on the details we had in hand.”
In his second season with Cleveland, Pettine bristled at the idea that there is no accountability with his players for their actions.
”I’m not of the mind that all discipline has to be public,” Pettine said. ”If you think we’re turning a cheek to it and ignoring it, you’d be dead wrong. I get the concern and I get the outcry and I know everything with him is magnified times a thousand.
”He’s made a lot of strides and this is a process for him and I know it’s something that is upsetting. It’s upsetting for all of us.”
Pettine would not say if the Browns have considered trading Manziel, a first-round draft pick in 2014.
On Monday, Avon Police released its dash-cam video and 9-1-1 emergency calls from the roadside incident, which happened a week ago when the Browns were off. Manziel admitted to police that he drank alcohol earlier in the day before his argument with Crowley.
On the video, Manziel explains to an officer what led to his dispute with Crowley. He said she flung his wallet out the window of his car and he and an officer can be seen looking for it along the roadside. Manziel and Crowley were allowed to leave the scene together.
Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby said Manziel has not become a distraction to the team and he sympathizes with him living in the spotlight.
”Right now he’s just a prisoner of his success,” Dansby said. ”If you’re going to be successful like you are and on level that you’re on, any little thing and everything is scrutinized. You’re up under a microscope, you gotta walk a different path.”
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