Rashard Higgins, Jedrick Wills Plead Guilty To Speeding ... In Drag Race Incident

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Cleveland Browns stars Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins and Jedrick Wills, Jr. just caught a break in their drag racing incident ... with both players pleading guilty to lesser charges of speeding on Tuesday.

As we previously reported ... 26-year-old Higgins and 21-year-old Wills were cited for drag racing in Westlake, OH on Jan. 5 ... just days before the Browns' first playoff game in nearly 2 decades.

During the stop, police claim they found a marijuana joint in Higgins' pocket ... which the wide receiver was instructed to destroy on camera, as one cop claimed it would be "bad for press."

"YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT"

During Wills' stop, the lineman admitted he and Higgins were "just being d*ckheads."

While the players' attorney initially claimed they would both plead not guilty to the drag racing charges, TMZ Sports has confirmed Higgins and Wills both pleaded guilty to lesser charges of speeding.

Both players paid $250 fines to wrap things up -- which seems like a pretty good deal considering the more serious punishment they could have received if convicted on the drag racing charges.

So, consider this case closed.

Marty Schottenheimer NFL Coaching Legend Dead At 77 After Battle W/ Alzheimer's

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Marty Schottenheimer -- one of the NFL's all-time greatest head coaches -- died on Monday after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's ... his family announced Tuesday.

He was 77 years old.

The coach had fought Alzheimer's since 2014 ... but was moved to a North Carolina hospice facility last month after his family said he was suffering from "complications from his disease."

Schottenheimer's wife, Pat, said at the time, "As a family we are surrounding him with love and are soaking up the prayers and support from all those he impacted through his incredible life."

"In the way he taught us all, we are putting one foot in front of the other ... one play at a time."

Pat and the rest of the Schottenheimer family told ESPN's Chris Mortensen Marty passed on Monday ... adding the former coach will have a private family service soon with a public memorial service at a later date.

Schottenheimer was a head man in the NFL for 21 years ... and is 1 of just 8 men to win at least 200 games in the league as a head coach.

He began his head coaching career with the Cleveland Browns in 1984 -- and later went on to coach Joe Montana and Marcus Allen in Kansas City starting in 1989.

Schottenheimer went on to spend 10 total years with the Chiefs -- piling up a 101-58-1 regular-season record. He took the team to 7 playoff appearances -- and even brought them to the AFC Championship game in 1993, where they lost to the Buffalo Bills.

Marty continued his coaching career with Washington before moving to the San Diego Chargers. He was named Coach of the Year there in 2004, when the team went 12-4 and won the AFC West.

RIP.

Nick Chubb I'd Beat Saquon In A Squat-Off Giants Star Claps Back!!!

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Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley both think they can out-squat each other ... and there's only one way to solve this:

NFL STAR SQUAT SHOWDOWN FOR THE AGES!!!

The Cleveland Browns running back was answering questions during an AMA with Bleacher Report this week ... when he was asked straight-up -- who would win in a squat-off between the 2 stars.

"It'd be me," Chubb said. "Don't let his leg shots fool you."

Shots fired!!

But, Saquon didn't let Chubb run his mouth without clapping back on Twitter Friday saying, "@NickChubb21 STOP THE CAPPPPP!😂😂😂😂"

Now, these 2 dudes are absolute FREAKS in the gym -- especially when they're working on their legs.

Remember, Barkley made headlines when the Giants posted a vid of their star RB box squatting 585 pounds FOUR times back in May 2020.

As for Chubb, the dude was turning heads even back in college ... when he maxed out at 600 lbs. in 2017.

Of course, the smack talk is all fun and games ... but can we PLEASE make this matchup happen?!

Odell Beckham NFL Star Goes HAM In Weight Room ... Just 2.5 Months After ACL Surgery

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BACK TO WORK
@obj / Instagram

Here's proof Odell Beckham Jr. might seriously not be human ...

Just 2.5 months after having major knee surgery -- Beckham was going HARD in the weight room, putting what appeared to be over 300 pounds on his back and lunging!

The Cleveland Browns star shared a glimpse into his Thursday lift sesh on social media ... and the video is impressive as hell considering what his left knee has been through.

You'll recall, OBJ tore his ACL in the 1st quarter of Cleveland's Oct. 25 game against the Cincinnati Bengals ... and he had surgery a few weeks later in early November.

Beckham didn't wait too long to begin the rehab process ... he posted clips in December showing him getting in some squats.

WORK IN PROGRESS

But, now ... look at the guy -- he's SERIOUSLY getting after it in the gym!!

In the Thursday footage, Beckham -- with what looks like 315 pounds on his shoulders -- got in some leg work ... and then hit some machines for some ladder cardio.

It's unclear if Beckham will ever don a Browns uniform again -- trade rumors have been swirling -- but what is clear is the guy is no doubt going to be ready to be a beast for SOME team in 2021!

Clay Matthews My Dad Belongs In Hall Of Fame!!! ... It's Long Overdue

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Clay Matthews III is making a major push to get his dad into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- saying the guy checks off all the boxes needed to punch a ticket to Canton.

The legendary Cleveland Browns linebacker has been eligible for the Hall for 20 years, and 2021 marks his last opportunity for selection by the Modern era committee.

Clay's son -- who also had a long and successful career in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and L.A. Rams -- is going to bat for his old man ... explaining why he's long overdue for the recognition.

"Peak Performance, Impact, Longevity, and Overall Value -- You CANNOT talk about my dad’s career without touching on each and every quality," Clay III tweeted Tuesday.

FYI -- Matthews played 16 of his 19 seasons with the Browns and is regarded as one of the best players in franchise history. He racked up 1561 tackles, 83.5 career sacks, 27 forced fumbles and 16 interceptions.

Clay III continued ... "His numbers are as good, if not better, than so many current, and deserving, members of the HOF. His longevity is unheard of. And his ability to do it all made him invaluable."

It’s not the end of the road if Matthews isn't selected -- he will be placed into the Seniors Committee for further consideration.

The Matthews family has been campaigning to get Clay Jr. in the Hall for years -- with names like Nick Saban, Bill Cowher, Jim Kelly and more vouching for his entry.

Will this be the year???

Odell Beckham Predicts Browns Win Over Chiefs ... 'Don't Be Surprised'

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Odell Beckham may not be suiting up this weekend, but he's still backing his boys in Orange and Brown ... saying he expects the Cleveland Browns to pull off the HUGE upset and beat the K.C. Chiefs!!

Baker Mayfield and Co. are set to face off against the defending Super Bowl champions in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs on Sunday ... a game that heavily favors the Chiefs.

There's been a LOT of smack talk surrounding the matchup -- from K.C. receiver Sammy Watkins claiming the Browns aren't a real threat to Steelers rookie Chase Claypool saying they'll get "clapped" against Patrick Mahomes' squad.

OBJ -- who's been out since October with a torn ACL -- has entered the chat ... saying folks shouldn't be shocked if the Browns come away with the dub and advance to the AFC title game.

"Don’t be surprised this weekend when they win," Odell tweeted Thursday. "just throwin it out there now."

It may come off as a flaming hot take, but the short-handed (and head coach-less) Browns were able to get their first playoff win since 1994 at Pittsburgh last week ... so really, anything can happen.

Even future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas is expecting big things from his team on Sunday ... saying Cleveland will win and eventually advance to a Super Bowl appearance.

Not that Kansas City needed any extra motivation, but they may have just gotten some.

Joe Thomas Browns Will Beat Mahomes, Chiefs ... Go To The Super Bowl!!!

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HERE COME THE BROWNS
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The Browns are 9.5 point underdogs to the Chiefs, and almost no one believes they’ll dethrone the defending champs (lookin’ at you Chase Claypool) ... that is, except NFL legend Joe Thomas.

The 10x Pro Bowler tells TMZ Sports Cleveland will not only beat Kansas City ... but they’ll advance to the Super Bowl this season.

Of course, Cleveland's no stranger to playing the underdog.

Vegas had them on the wrong side of a 5.5 point spread on Sunday ... before the team thoroughly whooped the Steelers, ending their season.

THE LAST LAUGH

So sure, Thomas might be a little biased ... but he wholeheartedly believes the Browns will take down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs when they face-off this weekend.

“I think it’s gonna be a close game,” Joe says.

“The Chiefs have played a close game just about, well I think a one-score game every game the last half of the season, and I think with the Browns rushing attack and the way Baker Mayfield is playing with that killer mentality, I like the Browns in this one.”

FYI, the Chiefs -- a year after winning the Lombardi trophy -- finished the season with the NFL's best record, 14-2.

Bottom line ... Thomas is adamant the lovable loser Browns are long gone -- and this is a team to be reckoned with.

“This is the revival and the resuscitation of the Cleveland Browns franchise. For 17 years, to not go to the playoffs, for a lot longer than that not having won a playoff game and to be able to come back, get that monkey off your back, go to Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers, your hated rival, in a game that nobody gave you a chance in."

"I think it really is the turning of the tides for the Browns franchise and I think it’s a little bit of the turning of tides in the AFC North as well.”

The NFL is on notice.

Steelers' Ike Taylor Piles On Browns After JuJu Shade ... 'This Ain't No Damn Rivalry'

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THERE'S NO RIVALRY
TMZSports.com

If JuJu Smith-Schuster's Browns shade wasn't enough to fire up Cleveland ... here's EVEN MORE bulletin board material for the Dawg Pound -- courtesy of ex-Steelers player Ike Taylor!!

TMZ Sports spoke with the former Pittsburgh DB this week ... and when he was explaining Smith-Schuster's "nameless, gray faces" comments, Taylor said JuJu wasn't exactly wrong!

"Well, first of all, there is no rivalry," Taylor said of the Browns vs. Steelers. "You know, the only rivalry when it comes down to Pittsburgh is the Baltimore Ravens. That's the only rivalry we look at."

"We never looked at Cleveland, we never looked at Cincinnati as no rivalry. That's just how it was."

Don't get it twisted, Taylor still has a ton of respect for Cleveland -- he praised Baker Mayfield for his progress -- but he says there's definitely a big brother little brother relationship between the Steelers and Browns.

"It's not in a disrespectful way," Taylor tells us. "It's just if you're a Pittsburgh Steeler, that's how you look at other teams."

If you missed it, Smith-Schuster spoke with reporters on Thursday and said he doesn't look at the Browns any differently this season compared to years' past when they were awful.

"The Browns is the Browns," JuJu said.

Kickoff for the playoff game is 5:15 p.m. PT in Pittsburgh. Getcha popcorn ready!

JuJu Smith-Schuster Shades The Hell Out Of Browns Before Game ... 'Nameless, Gray Faces'

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If the Steelers thought JuJu Smith-Schuster's TikTokin' was a distraction -- wait 'til they get a load of this ...

Pittsburgh's flamboyant wideout just provided some SERIOUS bulletin board material for the Cleveland Browns ahead of their playoff matchup this weekend ... throwing major shade at the team's AFC North rival!!

Smith-Schuster's comments all went down in a meeting with the media on Thursday ... when a reporter asked if the 24-year-old had seen anything different out of the Browns this year.

"I think they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year,” Smith-Schuster said. "I think they’re nameless, gray faces. They have a couple good players on their team, but, at the end of the day, I don’t know. The Browns is the Browns.”

JuJu added, "I'm just happy we're playing them again Sunday."

SHAAAAAAAAAADEEEE!!!

Of course, Smith-Schuster is no stranger to providing motivation for opposing teams ... to close out the season, the receiver made it a point to TikTok dance on opponents' logos before games.

Turns out, other teams used that as fuel ... especially the Bills and Bengals, who whooped the Steelers and griped about Smith-Schuster's dancing afterward.

Unclear if JuJu's comments this week will have a similar impact on the Browns ... but we do know the Sunday Pittsburgh-Cleveland matchup just got a whole helluva lot more interesting!!!

Browns' Rashard Higgins Traffic Stop Video ... Cop Ordered WR To Stomp On Alleged Weed

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"YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT"

TMZ Sports has obtained dashcam footage of Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins' recent traffic stop ... which shows cops ordering the Cleveland Browns receiver to destroy an alleged marijuana joint on camera.

As we previously reported, Higgins and teammate Jedrick Wills were cited for drag racing in Ohio at around 9:30 AM on Tuesday.

In video of Higgins' traffic stop ... you can see a Westlake PD responding officer ask the 26-year-old about his car smelling like weed.

The player told the officers he had smoked in the car the day before ... but in video, you can see one of the cops says he found a joint in Higgins' pocket.

What happens next is crazy ... one of the cops mentions getting busted for weed could be "bad for press" -- so he ordered the player to crush the joint with his foot and kick it into the sewer.

"You guys are celebrities around here, so you don't want that hittin' the news, OK?" the officer said ... adding he'd only hit Higgins with a ticket for drag racing.

Higgins compiled throughout the stop ... and even admitted to cops he's "better than that."

As for Wills, his interaction with officers was much less eventful.

TICKETED FOR RACING

A cop scolded the 21-year-old for the alleged racing ... and Wills admitted he and Higgins were "just being d*ckheads."

Both Higgins and Wills are due in court later this month.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, meanwhile, spoke about the incident with reporters on Wednesday ... saying the team will handle the situation internally.

Rashard Higgins, Jedrick Wills Busted For Alleged Drag Racing Days Before Playoff Game

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7:23 AM PT -- 1/6 The second driver cited during the incident has been identified ... and it's none other than the Browns' #10 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft -- star lineman Jedrick Wills, Jr.

The 21-year-old left tackle went to Twitter to clear the air ... claiming people are "blowing it way out of proportion."

"So nobody has ever tried to beat someone off the line at a red light for a max 30 meters? Ight." Wills said Tuesday night. "Blowing it way out of proportion. Ik y’all road ragers have."

The week from hell continues to get worse for the Cleveland Browns ... this time, wide receiver Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins has been cited for drag racing in Ohio.

26-year-old Higgins -- who has 4 TDs and nearly 600 yards receiving this season -- was pulled over along with another vehicle on Tuesday around 9:36 AM in Westlake, according to an incident report obtained by the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Both drivers were cited for drag racing, TMZ Sports has confirmed.

The report also states a suspected marijuana joint was found in one of the cars, but the report doesn't say who the cops allege it belonged to.

Hollywood jokingly tweeted about the incident Tuesday afternoon, saying, "Foot slipped srry."

"Was tryna get away from Covid," he added.

The Browns released a statement to the Chronicle ... saying, "We are aware of the incident, will gather more information and handle this matter appropriately."

The most recent news adds to the Browns' troubles as they prepare for their first playoff appearance since 2002 -- a COVID-19 outbreak has forced head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and more to miss this Sunday's AFC Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Higgins is due back in court for the case later this month.

Originally Published 1/5 4:17 PM PT

Kevin Stefanski Browns H.C. Tests Positive For COVID ... Out For Playoff Game

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9:07 AM PT -- 3-time Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and wide reviver KhaDarel Hodge are the 2 players who tested positive for COVID, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Bitonio is the longest-tenured Browns player, who has suffered through a winless season in 2017 and 1-win season in 2016.

In fact, he received a game ball from Stefanski after Cleveland's win over Pittsburgh on Sunday ... as a nod to making the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Terrible news for the Cleveland Browns -- the team will be without head coach Kevin Stefanski for its first playoff game in 18 years ... he just tested positive for coronavirus.

And he's not the only one ... 2 players and 2 assistant coaches have also tested positive for COVID-19 -- and the team has shut down its facility while contact tracing is underway.

The timing couldn't be worse for the Orange & Brown -- which is set to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card playoff game on Sunday.

Losing Stefanski is a major blow -- he's a candidate for NFL's Coach of the Year, leading the Browns to an impressive 11-5 record, the team's best season in forever.

The Browns announced special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as acting head coach on Sunday ... and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will take over play-calling duties.

"The team will continue to consult with the league and medical experts to determine the appropriate next steps as the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and the entire community remains our highest priority," the team said in a statement.

No word on the health status of the team's top stars -- including Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry and others. Hopefully, they're okay and will be ready to play.

Remember, Cleveland was forced to play without its top 4 wide receivers and several other key players in Week 16 against the pathetic New York Jets ... with the Browns taking an "L" as a result of its decimated roster.

The huge game against the Steelers is still set to go down Sunday night ... so fingers crossed it doesn't get any worse.

Myles Garrett Daps Up Mason Rudolph After Game ... Helmet Attack Forgiven?!?

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Hatchet buried?!

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph shared a handshake and exchanged pleasantries in a post-game moment Sunday -- something no one expected to happen roughly 13 months after the infamous helmet attack incident!

Remember, it was in Nov. 2019 that Garrett swung a helmet at Rudolph's head during a nationally televised Browns vs. Steelers game -- with some calling for the Browns star to be criminally prosecuted.

The situation got super nasty between the NFL players -- Garrett claimed Rudolph had used the n-word on the field, something Rudolph had vehemently denied. Ultimately, Myles was hit with a 6-game suspension that ended his 2019 season.

The two teams clashed again on Sunday night -- with Rudolph filling in at QB for Ben Roethlisberger ... and the big question, is there still bad blood???

No helmet swinging this time around as the Browns beat the Steelers -- but after the game, cameras caught Myles and Mason dapping each other up.

"Myles came over and said, 'good game,' postgame and that's all it was," Rudolph said. "I told him 'good luck' and that I had a lot of respect for him."

Added Garrett, "I just told him good game -- he played a hell of a game -- and we’ll see you all in a week," Garrett said. "He played tough. He had 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns. He played very well, and he kept them in it to the very end."

MUTUAL RESPECT
Cleveland Browns / Pittsburgh Steelers

"Had to show a little praise that he did well in this game and he was able to make some big plays for them."

So, friends? Not exactly ... but the situation is 1000000 times better than it was last year.

And, get this ... Myles and Mason will have a chance to continue their chat on Sunday when the Browns face the Steelers AGAIN in the AFC Wild Card game.

Beers after the game?

Marcus Peters Denies Spitting At Jarvis Landry ... During 'MNF'

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5:00 PM PT -- 12/17 -- Peters is speaking out on the spituation ... flat-out denying he hocked a loogie at Landry.

"Where I come from, when you have an issue with someone, you deal with it face-to-face, man-to-man," Peters said in a statement Thursday.

"Anyone who believes that I intentionally spit at him does not know me – plain and simple."

1:25 PM PT -- Landry is PISSED at Peters for appearing to spit at him on 'MNF' this week ... the Cleveland Browns star just called the Ravens corner a straight-up "coward" over the act.

"It's cowardly," Landry told reporters Thursday in his first meeting with the media since the incident ... "You wait 'til I turn around to do something like that? It's like, do it to my face, you know?"

"DISRESPECTFUL"
Cleveland Browns

"Be a man about it if you're going to do something like that."

Landry says he's not even sure why Peters got that mad at him to begin with ... explaining to media members the two players only traded "a little" smack talk during the game.

"At the end of the day, he took it to a disrespectful point," Landry said. "And, again, like I said, we'll see what happens from here."

Ravens star Marcus Peters appeared to hock a massive loogie and spit it at Jarvis Landry during "Monday Night Football" this week ... and it's got everyone wondering, was it intentional???

At the end of the 1st quarter of Baltimore's tilt with the Browns on Monday in Cleveland ... cameras caught Peters seemingly spitting in the direction of Landry as the wide receiver walked back toward his huddle.

Unclear if the Browns star even noticed -- but we've reached out to the Ravens and the NFL to see if they're looking into it.

Peters seemed to be pissed at Landry throughout the night ... and even appeared to call both Jarvis AND Odell Beckham "homegirls" and "she" after the win.

As Ravens star Marlon Humphrey was filming for social media postgame on the team jet ... Peters appeared to say of Jarvis and the injured Odell, "So, we only had one homegirl this time."

"And, you know, she was upset 'cause she ... she was upset because the other homegirl couldn't really end up making it. Because my dawg hurt. Well, she hurt right now. And, we understand that and I respect that."

"But, the one homegirl who was out there," Peters continued, "just needs to shut the f*ck up until she gets back."

FYI -- the Ravens and Browns have played twice already this season, with Baltimore winning both contests. There is a chance the two could possibly meet up in the playoffs next month.

For their part, neither Landry nor Peters has commented so far this week on any potential beef between the two stars.

Originally Published -- 12/16 8:15 AM PT

Browns' Callie Brownson Honored By Pro Football HOF NFL's 1st Female Position Coach

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She made NFL history. Now she's being honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Check out the new display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio celebrating Callie Brownson ... the 1st woman to serve as a positions coach in a regular-season NFL game.

31-year-old Brownson made her historic debut on Nov. 29 against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- when she filled in for tight ends coach Drew Petzing who left the team to welcome his first child.

Brownson's usual role with the Browns is "chief of staff" -- but she's got prior experience as both a coach and a player!

She played for the D.C. Divas in the Women's Football Alliance from 2010-17 -- WHERE SHE STRAIGHT TRUCKED FOOLS!!!

After that, she served as a scouting intern with the New York Jets, the offensive quality control coach at Dartmouth and ultimately joined the Browns in 2020.

So, when the Browns needed someone to step up on game day, they realized Brownson was more than equipped to handle the situation.

In fact, Cleveland's tight end Austin Hooper caught a key TD in the Browns' 27 to 25 victory over Jacksonville ... giving the Orange and Brown their 8th win of the season.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame thought Brownson's accomplishment was so important and impressive, they've put her sideline jacket from the game on display ... next to an autographed game ball.

Quite an honor ... and well-deserved. Congrats!

Johnny Manziel 'Serious Talks' To Make Football Comeback ... In New Pro League

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Johnny Manziel may not be done with pro football after all -- he's in "serious talks" to join a new league, TMZ Sports has learned.

We're told the 28-year-old is close to inking a deal with the new "Fan Controlled Football" league, which is set to debut in Feb. 2021.

FYI, the FCF is an arena football-style league consisting of 4 teams where almost everything -- including the play calls -- is picked by the fans.

So far, HUGE names like Quavo, Mike Tyson and Marshawn Lynch have all signed on to be team owners and the league has a deal for the games to stream live on Twitch.

Our sources tells us Manziel is currently in talks with comedian Bob Menery -- who co-owns the Zappers team with Mets pitcher Trevor May.

Obviously, it'd be a huge get for the league ... Manziel was one of the most electric college football players EVER -- and was a former Browns first-round pick in 2014. He also brought viewers to the TV in record numbers during his stint in the Canadian Football League.

But, Manziel hasn't played ball since 2019 -- and just a few months ago, he told TMZ Sports he was officially retired from football and moving on with his life.

ONTO THE NEXT CHAPTER
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Manziel apparently had a change of heart -- hey, he's allowed -- and this week, even posted about the opportunity on social media.

"Currently the starting QB of [Bob Menery's Zappers]. Time to tear old town down in my owners honor."

Getcha popcorn ready!

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