Source: Browns eye April return for Manziel

The Cleveland Browns are expecting Johnny Manziel to participate in offseason workouts beginning April 20 after he completes more than two months of treatment, a source told ESPN.com.

However, general manager Ray Farmer, while appearing to confirm that plan, emphasized Monday that the final decision rests in the hands of the people handling Manziel’s rehab.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel

AP Photo/Bob Leverone“If he is prepared and he demonstrates the things that he needs to demonstrate, then yeah, he should get every opportunity to be the guy,” Browns GM Ray Farmer said of Johnny Manziel.

“I don’t think it’s in doubt,” Farmer said from the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix when asked whether he thinks Manziel will be back in time for the April 20 workouts. “Again, I’m not the point person in that. So I would defer to those kind of controlling his care and let them decide what that looks likes.”

The delicate nature of treatment could change exit dates, but a source familiar with the situation said an early April release is expected for Manziel.

The Browns also do not expect rehab to keep Manziel from competing for the starting quarterback spot in 2015.

“That’d be the equivalent of me telling you that I could predict the future and tell you that he’s not prepared,” Farmer said. “If he is prepared and he demonstrates the things that he needs to demonstrate, then yeah he should get every opportunity to be the guy.”

Manziel checked into a facility Jan. 28 in an effort to “be a better family member, friend and teammate,” family attorney Brad Beckworth said in a statement Feb. 3.

Browns coach Mike Pettine has visited Manziel during his treatment stint. Other Browns officials, including Farmer, have spoken with him. Pettine has said Manziel has the Browns’ “full support” and that the team considers football an afterthought to his health.

Sources close to Manziel have stressed he’s doing great with treatment. Some friends have been reached via telephone to speak with Manziel; others have been asked to write letters, relayed through a Manziel intermediary.

Manziel will compete with Josh McCown, Connor Shaw and the recently acquired Thad Lewis at quarterback.

ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon contributed to this report.

ESPN.com

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