May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) gestures on stage after being selected as the number twenty-two overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

How Close Was Johnny Manziel To Being A Kansas City Chief?

The Cleveland Browns jumped the Kansas City Chiefs into to the 22nd overall pick in order to select quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round of the draft Thursday night, and this begs a significant question:


There are two clear reasons why the Browns felt compelled to leap over the Chiefs from pick 26 in order to secure their 1,000th starting quarterback of the last 20 years. Either A) They were worried about someone else jumping up to get Manziel and wanted to be sure they got their man or B) the Chiefs were going to take Manziel.

Let’s break these scenarios down a bit.

1. Cleveland Felt The Need To Pounce

Johnny Manziel was falling, Kansas City expressed a desire to trade, and Houston, Oakland, and Minnesota all expressed interest in adding a quarterback early in the draft. Maybe the feeling Ray Farmer and Company had was they needed to act sooner than later and Philadelphia had the best deal available.

John Dorsey told the media after the selection of Dee Ford he received somewhere between five to six phone calls for the pick at 23. What if one of those phone calls was from Cleveland? There is a solid chance that was the case, which would suggest KC never had any intention of drafting Manziel.

Cleveland moved up to 22 overall for just a third round pick and flipping number 26 overall for number 22. That’ is a pretty cheap deal to move up four picks. The feeling in Cleveland may have been the deal with Philly is not only affordable, but also ensures we get Manziel. KC may have just had the misfortune of picking one pick too late to trade down.

2. Kansas City Wanted Johnny Manziel

Consider these three tweets:



There was a legit reason to believe Kansas City would have taken Johnny Football. When the two most plugged in people in the city say they have interest and one of the most plugged in national guys says “facing a big decision” then there is real reason to believe KC wasn’t bluffing or misdirecting people.

Everything about the Chiefs’ situation suggests taking a quarterback would have made sense. Alex Smith may not be here beyond 2014 because of his contract commands, which could put him in the top seven of highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. I like Smith a lot and think the Chiefs can win with him, but I’m not paying him top 10 quarterback money.

Then there is the situation with the Chiefs’ cap next season. Justin Houston and Rodney Hudson are free agents after 2014 along with Smith, and the Chiefs have to start thinking about new contracts for Dontari Poe and Eric Berry in addition to understanding Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson will be free agents after 2015. Is re-signing Alex Smith worth losing Poe, Berry, and/or Charles and Johnson?

Kansas City has to consider finding a cheaper option at quarterback and Manziel may have fit the bill for the Chiefs. Whether or not he is better than Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr or whoever can be debated, but we know the Chiefs liked him and we know the Chiefs had a need for him.

This is why I think we were 10 minutes away from draft Johnny Manziel with the 23rd overall pick. Manziel would have meant the Chiefs got to keep core players like Houston, Poe, and Berry, and gave the Chiefs affordable stability at quarterback beyond 2014. They truly would have started to look like Seattle and San Francisco when it came to roster construction.

But we’ll never know because Cleveland felt the need to jump Kansas City.


Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep12:00Tennessee TitansBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Johnny Manziel Kansas City Chiefs

  • redchiefs

    Is the a day 2 trade in the works for a 2nd round draft pick? Dorsey makes life interesting.

  • Montez K.

    I’m just crossing my fingers that the Chiefs trade Brandon Flowers to a team where he fits the defensive scheme, and we get at least one 2nd rounder in exchange! Jordan Matthews, Pierre Desir, etc…I think the Chiefs are going to do work this evening. Dorsey has a good track record in the draft–I trust him…if in doubt go check out the Packers and what they’ve managed to do the last 15-20 years

  • berttheclock

    If we do not pick up a 2nd, for the 87the pick, Desir, Lattimer or Billy Taylor, the OT from ND State?

  • nathan82

    I think that in the end, we will be happy that Cleveland jumped us. If we had been able to trade back and grabbed Carr, I would have been alright with that. I think the pick is fine. Grab a qb later or maybe they feel good about one in house. Personally, I think a deal with ASmith still gets done sometime this offseason and he is the qb for the next 5 years.

    • Clinton James White

      exactly right to the point

  • Clinton James White

    I am very glad we got Dee Ford, we have a great qb and a great back up, why is everyone so mad about Dee Ford? He will surprise everyone
    e, I remember when everyone was mad about Dontari Poe, Dee Ford, I believe in you.

  • toperspective

    Would have loved to have Manziel. Risk? Sure. But Ford is a situational guy who can’t stay healthy. It would be different if someone like Cook or Dix fell to us at 23.

  • Blaize Richardson

    Andy Reid has a history of developing QBs. Whilst it would’ve been cool to see how Reid would’ve utilized a guy like Manziel, it certainly wasn’t a need by any means. Were set just fine at QB for next season. Alex Smith still hasn’t hit his ceiling and does more than enough to help us win games. We also have Chase, who although over paid, he can be an ok option for a few weeks in need be. Andy Reid can design an offense that Chase can handle. Throw in Bray who flashed a ton of potential and has a hell of an arm and I’m not worried about the quarterback position. I think Andy Reid can develop Tyler Bray and turn him into a starter