The narrative linking the Cleveland Browns to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel went even deeper Sunday when a report surfaced that the club would be willing to trade up to get the dynamic Aggies star.
"... they are willing to trade up to land Johnny Manziel in the draft if need be, sources said, and have an owner, Jimmy Haslam, who is committed to spending their abundant cap space to try to win quickly."
Although this is far from the first time the Browns' interest in the quarterback has been reported, it is the first indication that Cleveland might like him enough to trade up from the No. 4 overall pick to get it done. Its flexibility to do so is strong, given the club has a pair of first-round picks. The Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars pick ahead of the Browns. The Texans and Rams have both indicated they might have an interest in trading back, so the Browns might not find it tough to make a move up.
If Cleveland's reported interest in Manziel is merely a ploy to draw more trade interest in its own pick from other clubs, the disguise is beginning to look pretty obvious. Sometimes the smart fish swim past the shiniest lures.