Following news that a trio of Cleveland Browns were disciplined for not meeting team requirements this past week, owner Jimmy Haslam said publicly that his young players need to “grow up.”
While he did not name Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert or Josh Gordon by name, it was clear who he referring to.
“I think a player who can’t show up for meetings, can’t make practice, can’t make weight-lifting, disrespects himself,” Haslam said. “But I think more importantly, and I think this is what these young guys miss, they disrespect the team, the coaches, the staff, the fans.
“There’s a lot of people in our organization whose livelihood depends on how well we do. We’re not gonna tolerate people who are irresponsible, no matter what round they’re drafted in.”
Gordon was suspended for the season finale Sunday (Dec. 28), after missing a walk-through on Saturday (Dec. 27), while Gilbert was inactive for the game for being late for a team meeting Saturday night. And, Manziel was fined for being late to his treatment for an injured hamstring.
Reports said Manziel threw a party Friday night (Dec. 26), attended by several players on the Browns, including Gordon.
Despite the irresponsible actions, Haslam said the “young guys” would still get a shot to prove themselves. As for Manziel being the quarterback of the future, he said the Browns had to “figure it out.”
“We’re gonna give them a chance,” Haslam said. “They’re young kids. We’re going to work with them — hopefully they grow up.
“But if they can’t grow up and they can’t be responsible to the their teammates and the coaches and our great fans, then they won’t be with the Cleveland Browns.”