Browns don't want 'Hard Knocks'

PHOENIX -- The Cleveland Browns met with NFL Films this week and let it be known they would not volunteer to be featured on "Hard Knocks."

Part of the reason: The team is aware the reality series filmed during training camp would bring increased scrutiny and attention to Johnny Manziel.

"You just weigh everything in," said coach Mike Pettine, who was with the Jets as an assistant coach when the show was filmed there. "Because being a part of 'Hard Knocks,' having been there, knowing they're going to look to cover the team's biggest current storylines, it's obvious that he would be a point of attention."

Manziel is presently in rehab, having entered a facility on Jan. 28. Pettine said the team expects him to be present for the start of its offseason workouts on April 20, but he said no definite date for Manziel's return has been set.

Because of the attention Manziel receives, the team obviously is trying to be careful with him when he is back. Pettine said he is far more concerned about Manziel as a person than Manziel the player.

"When we decided not to volunteer for 'Hard Knocks,' we discussed everything that was involved with it," Pettine said at the league's annual meetings. "[Manziel] is certainly something we needed to consider."

The Browns still could be forced to do the series, though it's clear that the team prefers that not to be the case. NFL Films would rather that a team volunteer for the show.

Pettine declined to talk about how he'd handle the situation if the Browns were forced.

"That's a hypothetical," he said with a smile.