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The Falcons shouldn't consider Johnny Manziel this offseason

It's been a semi-popular topic of conversation, but the soon-to-be ex-Browns quarterback won't wind up in Atlanta.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There are many compelling reasons to like Johnny Manziel the football player, given that he is a gifted athlete with a decent arm who had so much success in college. It's not hard to envision him landing in the right system and becoming a quality NFL quarterback.

For all that, Manziel is about to find himself run out of town in Cleveland, where the Browns invested a first round pick in him just two years ago that now looks like another in a long line of poor first round picks. Manziel has angered the team with domestic issues, partying, and possible substance abuse issues, and the team is ready to wash their hands of him now. There will be plenty of fanbases wondering aloud whether Manziel might land with their favorite team, and I thought I'd explain (like I need to) why Manziel to Atlanta is very unlikely.

Why it make sense

The Falcons do not currently have an established backup quarterback, and Manziel would be the most talented option for that role the team is likely to land this offseason. it's possible that he could sit behind Matt Ryan for at least a couple of seasons, get his life in order and learn, and become Atlanta's starter down the line. That's if you're a huge optimist, of course, but the talent is certainly there.

Why it doesn't make sense

Everything else.

I don't believe ostracizing a man and effectively booting him from the league is necessarily the best way to help him, but I also know that NFL teams have proven time and time again to be less-than-stellar rehabilitation facilities. Arthur Blank and this front office have shown an enduring reluctance to take a chance on players with character concerns, with Ray Edwards and Prince Shembo effectively blowing up in their faces. Manziel would be a huge question mark because he has, to this point, shown very little willingness to change. The Falcons are likely to weigh the risks and benefits of such a signing and find the latter lacking compared to the former.

I do find myself hoping that Manziel is able to land in a stable environment, whether it's with an NFL team or not, in which he can size up the man in the mirror and make the changes he needs to. His NFL career will almost certainly be over otherwise, and while that's a lesser concern to a life of substance abuse that so frequently ends in tragedy, I imagine it's not an outcome Manziel himself wants.

What are the chances?


I suppose it's possible that the Falcons, who have eschewed signings with major character concerns for most of the last decade, could take a shot at Manziel. It's just so, so unlikely that they would do so, and while some team somewhere will probably take the chance and will hopefully be able to work with him, Manziel might be better off getting his life in order and trying to land with a team either later in 2016 or in 2017. Chances are that either way, it won't be Atlanta.