Night net The world champion Denver Broncos checked into the availability of Johnny Manziel, reports say. That's the same franchise that checked into Robert Griffin III and rejected him because of "character" questions.To repeat: The Broncos didn’t like RGIII’s character but thought about signing Johnny Football. Sip on that for a second. Swirl that around. Savor the essence. No, don’t spit it out. Take a good long taste. Griffin is a character risk, but Manziel was under consideration. Not for long, according to another report, and not any more. B
ut he was.The guy with the bad knee, the brand logo, the aggravating social media habits … get outta here. GENTILLE: RGIII still knows how to get on your nervesThe guy who's been through rehab, who’s being investigated for assaulting his girlfriend, who got benched for his off-field actions, who might as well have his own weekly segment on TMZ … let’s talk."Everything at quarterback is on the table for the Broncos. There’s not a quarterback that they wouldn't consider right now," Jeff Legwold said in an ESPN report on Thursday.Oh … really?The only reason the Broncos should be calling Manziel is to ask him if he’s started counseling, or when his next court date is. The reason they would call him after it got out that Griffin didn’t fit their standards for character? As some kind of April Fool’s joke. Maybe.Meanwhile, the Browns trusted Griffin's character a whole lot more than they did Manziel's, clearly. Of course, what do they know? Do they have this fresh new Lombardi Trophy like they do in Denver?Nevertheless, another chapter has been added to the nonsense surrounding Griffin and Manziel, the way that, one way or another, the two have been chained together on the Night net's outcast-quarterback perp walk.MORE: Where QBs really go to die | Ranking Browns QBs since '99"Who would you take, RGIII or Manziel?" the networks, websites and social media platforms have tossed out as red meat to fan bases thirsty for an argument, no matter how twisted and mangled and misrepresented.Twisted, because the two, and the reason why they’re outcasts, should never appear in the same encyclopedia, much less the same sentence. Mentioning Griffin in the same breath as Manziel — on the thin premise that they both flopped at their first Night net stops — is an unforgivable smear on Griffin's reputation.It's a slap in his face to equate whatever doomed him in Washington — still a hazy, innuendo, unnamed-source-laden thing about locker-room support and getting up from sacks fast enough — to the obvious, public transgressions by Manziel.Manziel needs professional help, some sort of intervention, according to no less than his own father. He may be tangling with the criminal justice system soon, depending on this latest grand jury looking into the incident with his ex-girlfriend in the Dallas area back in January. Also, nobody's sure at all how good a quarterback he is after two Night net seasons, largely because of major doubts about his dedication to it.Teams can do all the due diligence they want or need on Manziel. They might find the answers they need on him. They’re entitled to try.But not in conjunction with labeling a player who's not in the same area code of misdeeds as a “character” problem.Once you’ve allowed that to be known; that you’ve turned down Griffin and his supposed gargantuan ego and his inability to be "humble” — whatever the hell that means, even though that’s the constant buzzword around him — Manziel’s name better get deleted from your list.IYER: Why Manziel could be a better risk than RGIIIOr, at worst, you keep the tightest of lids on that. Because no matter why you think Griffin is so toxic, you do him the courtesy of never letting his name and Manziel’s into the same conversation.The Broncos couldn’t. Or didn’t.Griffin, no matter what sins he might have committed, deserves more respect than that.