Johnny Manziel finds himself in a precarious situation after the Fort Worth police report surfaced Thursday evening that he allegedly struck his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley multiple times and threatened both his and her life, USA Today Sports reported.
So, too, does the NFL, as the league is in the same position with Johnny Manziel as it was with Ray Rice and Greg Hardy before him. Many now wonder how the NFL will handle the Johnny Manziel incident, especially now that the quarterback reportedly will be dismissed from his current team.
While Greg Hardy is still in the NFL, Ray Rice has not played football professionally since his domestic violence incident in 2014. The incident still haunts Rice, giving him a stigma that Ray has yet to break despite winning an arbitration case that same year to overturn his indefinite suspension.
Rice still believes he can play the game of football. All Ray wants now is a chance to do so, the former running back told the host of the Dan Patrick Show in December.
“I do want to play football again and I’m not ready to give up. I thought early in the year, I would have loved to be in a training camp, learn an offense and things like that.”
Even endorsements from former teammates haven’t helped Rice land a second shot at the NFL, something Johnny Manziel may struggle to find this early in his NFL playing career. A recent TMZ Sports article had former Ravens teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo throwing his support behind Ray.
“What happened with Ray… that was a one time deal. He’s a really good guy, great guy in the community. Made a mistake and he owned it… but yeah, he should be back in the league.”
Johnny may have hope in landing back in the league should the NFL not punish him, thanks to a NFL Hall of Fame player urging his former owner to give Manziel a home. Shortly before news of the police report broke, Michael Irvin was on The Rich Eisen Show advocating for the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones to sign Johnny Manziel.
“I love the game of football and the game of football saves lives. If you can get a football player, young guy, Johnny Manziel… He is still growing up. I don’t know why we think because a guy can throw a football, run for a touchdown, it makes him the most mature person in the world. There will come a time when he will cross over that threshold and become a great football player and, yeah, I am willing to work with him on that and I hope the Cowboys do get him.”
The Dallas Cowboys have shown their willingness to work with talented individuals with a troubled past. Greg Hardy, who faced similar abuse charges in his past, was retained despite former Cowboy legends calling for Jones to part ways. Even facing an NFL suspension, Jones kept Greg on the team. Michael Irvin feels the same thing is needed for Johnny Manziel to succeed in the NFL.
“When you are around people that are more sympathetic and have dealt with issues like the Dallas Cowboys or like a Jerry Jones, who will get in there and talk to him on a man-to-man level and help him come along as a man…. He helped me become a better man, and he will take his time. When you know there is somebody pulling for you up in the higher office, it does make a difference… I think it can make a difference in this kid’s life.”
A significant difference between both the Ray Rice and Greg Jones incidents and the one Johnny Manziel recently had is the amount of evidence available after the event. Ray Rice had a video that damaged his reputation, and pictures after the Greg Jones incident brought a chorus of individuals calling for his ouster from Dallas.
Right now, no photographic evidence has been produced from last weekend’s incident involving Johnny Manziel, the Inquisitr reported. Colleen Crowley did not cooperate with police who sought take pictures of her, the report said. Unless photographic evidence appears, the former Heisman winner may find an easier path to redemption than Ray Rice has experienced.
What could make this more difficult for Johnny is his past run-ins. Less than four months ago, Manziel and Crowley found themselves under the microscope for a similar incident in Avon, Ohio.
Already, Johnny has lost support over these issues. Last month, LeBron James’ marketing firm LRMR dropped Manziel as a client, citing his personal life as the reason for the separation.
Could Johnny Manziel end up like Ray Rice and be forced to sit out of the league for the foreseeable future? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photos by Jason Miller & Andy Lyons/Getty Images]