If a recent report has it right, Johnny Manziel just can't quit Las Vegas. After a season filled with unwanted distractions and repeated scoldings from Browns management, Manziel's name has now been attached to yet another scandal: This time, a possible sighting in Las Vegas on the eve of Cleveland's regular-season finale.
According to a USA Today reporter, Manziel was spotted at Planet Hollywood in Vegas on Saturday night, where he was drinking and gambling. No pictures or additional evidence turned up, which led to speculation that Manziel had been misidentified.
But there was smoke still billowing from the situation, mostly because Manziel didn't show up in Cleveland on Sunday morning. The quarterback had been scratched from a potential start because he hadn't cleared concussion tests, but he was still supposed to meet with doctors in the morning. He never showed up, which made it seem likely that the quarterback was out of town.
Then an ESPN radio affiliate posited a compelling new wrinkle: Manziel was in Las Vegas in disguise. The report said that he was "wearing a blonde wig, a fake mustache, glasses, and a hoodie" and going by the alias of "Billy."
It's possible he looked like this:
Exclusive picture of Johnny Manziel's Vegas disguise pic.twitter.com/GpYlgvshxp
— Bottlegate (@Bottlegate) January 5, 2016
In what might be an effort to create an alibi for himself after-the-fact, Manziel posted a seemingly innocuous picture of himself and his dog to Instagram, with the hashtag #SaturdayNights, which is sure to throw everyone off his track.
This Las Vegas rumor hasn't been confirmed, and the Browns haven't said much about it, partially because they canned their coach and GM on Monday. If true, it's another nail in Manziel's coffin, and one that may indicate his past demons are still haunting him.
When the Browns do make a new hire, they'll have to decide whether to continue the Manziel experiment and risk the potential PR nightmare, or cut bait and start fresh. Manziel isn't making much of a case to be retained.