The NFL rumors are pointing to the end of the line for Johnny Manziel — possibly forever — after one league employee floated the idea of a lifetime ban for the troubled quarterback.
Manziel was dropped by the Cleveland Browns this week, an expected end to a tumultuous era that included struggles both on the field and off of it. It’s not clear at this point if any teams would have interest in Manziel, or even if the league will let him play again.
This week, former NFL player and current league employee Heath Evans went off on Manziel, saying he doesn’t deserve another chance in the league. Evans called on Commissioner Roger Goodell to issue a lifetime ban on the former Heisman Trophy winner.
But as Pro Football Talk noted, Evans’ request wouldn’t exactly fly by the league’s collective bargaining agreement and federal laws.
“Though it’s safe to say that Goodell isn’t taking advice from Evans regarding matters of employee discipline (then again, based on the league’s misadventures in court the past few years, maybe he is), it’s a bad look for any employee of the NFL to be advocating behavior that would be a violation of federal law.
“That doesn’t mean Manziel won’t be blackballed. Some believe that the league has made it clear to teams that running back Ray Rice will never play again after his misconduct of two years ago. Absent a smoking gun like an email or a text message or a former club employee who is sufficient disgruntled to speak out, that could never be proven.”
But it may not take an act of the league for Johnny Manziel to never see the field again. He may have essentially blackballed himself through his inability to stay out of trouble, with teams no longer interested in giving him a second or third chance. Manziel frequently got caught up in partying and excessive drinking, and has also been investigated for possible abuse against his former girlfriend.
With the troubles surrounding Manziel, he may have no options left in the NFL. Even the Dallas Cowboys, once considered one of the few teams willing to touch Manziel, are reportedly no longer interested.
Sports Day noted that the Dallas Cowboys are now turned off to the idea of Manziel — possibly for good.
“A source said the club has no intention of bringing the former Heisman Trophy winner in for a visit or signing him now that he’s been released by Cleveland. That same source said the Cowboys won’t pursue the quarterback and doesn’t forsee the club having any serious discussions about him, ‘until he gets his life back in order.’
“The infatuation owner Jerry Jones has with Manziel is no secret. Manziel himself has reportedly told associates that once he was cut by the Browns – Friday’s move has been anticipated for weeks – he believed the Cowboys would express strong interest.”
While the NFL rumors point to a dead end for Johnny Manziel, other teams with quarterback needs appear to be moving on. The Houston Texans signed Brock Osweiler away from the Denver Broncos, the Broncos in turn have signed Mark Sanchez and are looking into Colin Kaepernick, and even free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick is having a difficult time finding a team. If Fitzpatrick can’t find a destination — and he is much more reliable and proven than Johnny Football — then Manziel may not have a chance again.
[Image via Getty Images/Tom Szczerbowski]