NFL rookie contracts are mostly formalities these days, and holdouts have become extremely rare, but that doesn't mean it's not news that the Cleveland Browns have signed one of their first-round picks to his first pro deal.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel officially is a Brown under contract now, as the collective bargaining agreement leaves little wiggle room anymore for rookie deals, and there is zero chance now that he won't be at training camp on time (as if that baseball thing had any legs).
All first-round picks earn four-year deals under the CBA, with a club option for the fifth year that varies depending on where in the first 32 picks they are taken. The 22nd pick in May's draft, Manziel was the second of the Browns' two first-round picks, behind cornerback Justin Gilbert, who was taken eighth overall.
Manziel will get every chance to unseat current starter Brian Hoyer, who is coming off a torn ACL last season following three starts with the Browns in 2013. The Browns open the regular season at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That said, Manziel's personal life and the way the Browns have handled him so far have come under heavy scrutiny before the rookie really has had a chance to strut his stuff with pads on. That time is coming, but for now he's signed — and ready to potentially seal and deliver.
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