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Browns QB Johnny Manziel releases statement

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel issued a statement on Friday to address his offseason stint in a treatment facility.

"I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates, and Browns fans everywhere, for your patience, understanding, and support during my stay at Caron," Manziel said, through the team. "The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I've learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous. I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and it's my intention to work very hard to regain everyone's trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say. I also understand there's a lot of curiosity about this but anyone who has a friend or family-member that's been through things like this knows it's an ongoing process.

"I'm going to continue to ask folks to try to respect my privacy as I determine to what degree I am comfortable talking about a subject which I consider very personal. Most of you have been considerate about that and I thank you for it. I look forward to seeing my teammates next week and focusing on football and my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be."

It's the first we've heard from Manziel since he entered rehab in January.

The second-year passer now returns to the Browns facing an uphill battle to regain the starting job he was handed at the tail end of his rocky rookie season. Veteran Josh McCown has been inked as a safe if underwhelming placeholder under center, with the Browns in play to potentially move up in the draft to pick Oregon's Marcus Mariota.

Manziel also has work to do inside the locker room after Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said last week that the former Texas A&M star "lost probably a lot of trust among the guys on the team last year by the way he handled himself once he became the starter."

Still, barring a trade out of town, the Browns are set to give Manziel a shot to compete for the job many thought would be his at the start of last season.

"When (Manziel) is back, it will be full speed ahead for him," Pettine said at last month's NFL Annual Meeting. "I think he's very anxious at this point. We'll be prepared as we will with every other player. When they get back to town, we're going to coach the heck out of them."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down Adrian Peterson's return and discusses the Cleveland Browns' new uniforms. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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