Monday's NFL roundup: Johnny Manziel says he'll grow up
Berea, Ohio — Johnny Manziel says the party's over. The Browns want to believe him.
The high-profile rookie quarterback apologized to his Browns teammates — and Cleveland fans — Monday for a season of distractions and vowed again to change.
Manziel was fined over the weekend by the team after he missed a medical treatment for a hamstring injury. Manziel said he overslept, but denied he threw a party Friday night that also caused star wide receiver Josh Gordon to miss a team walk-through and draw a suspension for the season finale in Baltimore.
Just last week, Manziel, who made two starts after replacing Brian Hoyer, promised a new approach.
Johnny Football said he means it this time.
"It's about actions," he said. "It's about being accountable and doing what I'm going to say."
The Browns have heard Manziel make similar promises in the past and are counting on him to keep his word.
"He realizes this, that at some point, talk is cheap," coach Mike Pettine said. "To me, the actions are much more important than what he says."
The 22-year-old Manziel shot down reports he hosted a party that was attended by teammates, including the troubled Gordon whom Pettine said is "squarely in a crossroads with us" because of his many missteps the past two seasons.
Manziel said he let his "guard down a little bit" and went out Friday night with friends who were visiting from Kerrville, Texas. When he was late for his treatment Saturday, the Browns sent security personnel to his home.
"It was a mistake by me," he said. "At the same time, you can sit here and say and talk and say this all you want, but when your actions don't reflect that, and you make a conscious decision to put yourself in the position that you stay out too late and not wake up the next morning, that's going to cause a lot of trouble, so I did that to myself. I brought this on myself."
Manziel acknowledges he's responsible for much of the media commotion surrounding the team.
"I don't think it's fair to anybody in this locker room the distractions I've brought at points in time," he said. "So I'm sorry to these guys that are veterans in this locker room and know what it takes, that I'm having to learn the hard way."
He added, tellingly, that he better do that, or there will be consequences.
"I'm either going to learn or I'm going to be finding something else to do," he said.
The Steelers may have to start the playoffs without running back Le'Veon Bell.
The Michigan State alum hyperextended his right knee in the third quarter of Sunday night's win over Cincinnati and coach Mike Tomlin said that although Bell didn't sustain any major structural damage, it was unclear if he would be available to face Baltimore in a wild-game game Saturday.
If Bell can't play, the running back duties will fall to rookies Josh Harris and Dri Archer.
... Quarterback Kyle Orton, 32, told the Buffalo Bills that he plans to retire.
... Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gave New England an extra $24 million to spend this offseason by re-working his contract, according to ESPN's Adam Shefter.
Schefter reported that Brady, a Michigan product, turned a $24 million "skill" guarantee on his deal into a guarantee that only kicks in if he's injured. The Patriots could technically release Brady without any liability.
... Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks has a torn ACL in his right knee. He hopes to be back during training camp.