Johnny Manziel is cut by the Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel is finally an ex-Brown.

The former Heisman Trophy winner has been released by the Cleveland Browns less than two years after they selected him in the first round of the NFL draft, the team announced Friday morning.

Manziel released a statement hours later.

"I'd like to thank the Browns for the opportunity they gave me -- nearly two years ago, we all hoped that we were building what could be a championship team for Cleveland," he said. "I will always remember the support I received from the organization, my teammates and especially the fans."

It has long been speculated that the move would take place, with the team more or less stating it had no intention of keeping the troubled quarterback on its roster after new Coach Hue Jackson took over.

"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization," Browns Executive Vice President Sashi Brown said in a statement last month. "His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules."

Manziel's time with the team provided few highlights on the field but plenty of negative headlines off it, including allegations that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend earlier this year.

That case was investigated by Dallas police and has been sent to a grand jury to determine whether Manziel will be indicted on a misdemeanor assault charge. The NFL is investigating the matter as well.

Agent Erik Burkhardt announced last month he was dropping Manziel as a client. Meanwhile the quarterback's father, Paul Manziel, said he feared for his son's life after two failed attempts to get him into a rehab clinic.

Manziel failed to show up for treatment as well as the Browns' season finale while out with a concussion in January. Instead, he was seen out in Las Vegas that weekend.

He was in and out of the starting lineup this past season, at one point losing the job for lying to the team about partying during the Browns' bye week.

Manziel went 2-6 as a starter over two years, completing 147 of 258 passes for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Three quarterbacks remain on Cleveland's roster — Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Connor Shaw — but the Browns could bolster the position with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft.


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11:31 a.m.: Adds statement from Manziel

This post was originally published at 8:58 a.m.

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