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Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer blasted a Bleacher Report update saying he won’t re-sign with the team if Johnny Manziel is still around.
Hoyer, the Browns’ starting quarterback, shot down an Oct. 13 update by Bleacher Report‘s Jason Cole saying “it couldn’t be further from the truth,” per The Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot:
“Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer opened his press conference Wednesday by re-addressing the report that he won’t sign a long-term deal with the Browns if Johnny Manziel remains on the roster.
“This time, he emphatically disputed the report, and used the platform to slam the door shut on any more questions about his contract.
“Hoyer addressed Jason Cole’s Bleacher Report story on Monday, but hadn’t yet seen the video. Once he watched it, he felt compelled to speak out very strongly against it.
“‘First of all, I want to address what we talked about the other day,’ said Hoyer, before even being asked any questions. ‘I’ve said all I needed to say about the topic, but after (a reporter) mentioned the report, I wanted to see it for myself and it couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no accurate information in that.
“‘I’ve never talked to that guy (Cole) in my life, so from here on out my main focus is (the) Jacksonville (Jaguars), and if you guys want to talk about that, you can talk to the guys upstairs or my agent, Joe Linta, and from here on out I’m onto Jacksonville.’
“Cole told cleveland.com that he spoke to three sources within the Browns organization for his story.
“Manziel, on his way out of the locker room Wednesday, said he didn’t have time, ‘but I’ll talk to you on Friday’ during his weekly meeting with reporters.
“Coach Mike Pettine was also asked whether Hoyer’s contract extension — he’ll be a free agent after this year — is a distraction.
“‘It can be if we allow it to be,’ he said. ‘To me, that’s generated externally, and internally we’re focused on the task at hand. It’s something that you have to deal with — issues and distractions along the way. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, and when you talk about dealing with success and dealing with prosperity it’s, ‘OK, now you’ve got a guy that’s playing well. Look at his contract situation.
“‘This is just an example of that. Brian will be the first one to tell you he’s focused on this game just like we all are. If things weren’t going well, then we’d be dealing with a different set of distractions. It’s just part of the external noise that will test our ability to stay focused.’
“When asked Monday about the Bleacher Report story, Hoyer said, ‘I don’t think I need to say any more than I’m from Cleveland and this is where I want to be. But I am also a competitor, so I want to be somewhere where I’m playing.’
“Cole reported that everyone he’s talked to that’s involved with the situation has told him the same thing: that Hoyer won’t make a long-term commitment to the Browns if Manziel remains with the club.
“He said even if the Browns offer Hoyer a deal that averages $10 million to $12 million a year, ‘he’s not going to accept that deal if he still thinks there’s a challenge coming from Johnny Manziel.'”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto weighed in on Hoyer’s contract issue in his Oct. 16 blog:
“When it comes to Brian Hoyer’s contract situation, everyone needs to simply calm down. The season is five games old. He doesn’t become a free agent until after the season.
“In other words, Hoyer isn’t going anywhere right now.
“And furthermore, if the Browns really want to keep Hoyer, they can:
- “Sign him to a long-term deal that pays him the salary of a starter such as Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton; or
- “Designate him as a ‘franchise player.’ In 2014, the franchise tag for a quarterback was $16 million.
“So Hoyer can’t walk away from the team unless the Browns allow it. They also have $20 million in salary cap room, second most in the NFL.
“As for the Bleacher Report story about how Hoyer wouldn’t re-sign with the Browns if Johnny Manziel remains on the roster, that just doesn’t sound like Hoyer.
“‘I want to be somewhere where I’m playing,’ Hoyer said when the report first surfaced, and that doesn’t sound like Hoyer.
“It also makes sense.”
The 29-year-old Hoyer has thrown for 2,455 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions on an 87.1 passer rating in 23 regular-season games with the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, per ESPN stats.