The college football world turned upside down when Johnny Manziel lead Texas A&M to a massive upset over the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 10, 2012. Manziel, who would later win the Heisman Trophy as a red-shirt freshman (first freshman in history), helped set the blueprint on how to defeat Nick Saban’s powerhouse Alabama team; utilizing spread-offense principles with a mobile quarterback who can throw. The sky was not the limit for Manziel, as he finished his 2013 season with 4,800 yards total offense and 46 touchdowns. A first round draft selection in the 2014 NFL Draft was all but certified, and that thinking came true for Manziel as he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 22nd pick in the first round.
But tough times laid ahead for Manziel, as he struggled in his first season with the Browns. Although he only played in five games and started two, he completed 18-35 (51.4 percent), 175 yards passing, and zero touchdowns to two interceptions. Manziel’s struggles would spill over into his second and final season with the Browns, in which he performed better on the field (57.8 percent passing, 1,500 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions), but his partying habits and lack of preparation would become a concern for the Browns organization. In March of 2016, Manziel was released and he did not play a down in the NFL this season.
But Manziel’s partying ways haven’t slowed down, which makes many wonder if he has the itch to play in the NFL this season. Below, is a video of Manziel’s Snapchat chronicles not too long ago from his vacation to Florida. In the video, Manziel is drinking with friends, partying, and smoking a cigarette (not harmless, but doesn’t help).
On the flip side, this video isn’t harmful, per se. Manziel is fresh from his 24th birthday and he may choose to behave how he pleases. But, it could be seen as interesting that he would document his vacation with the same vices that helped end his career. Not too long ago, an article published by CBS Sports cited a quote from not only a friend of Manziel’s, but from Manziel himself stating that he is aware that he hit rock bottom, but he knows he can’t end his football career like this.
“He knows he’s hit rock bottom and he’s giving himself a year to get sober and get ready for football. He wants to play again,” Manziel’s pal told the Post. “He really wants to turn things around and make people proud of him again. It’s not going to end this way.”
That last sentence echoed what Manziel himself said on July 19. In a video that was posted to Instagram, Johnny Football said his career wasn’t going to end “like this.”
“You all write about a day in my life and what goes on,” Manziel said. “Here it is, no secrets, no hiding, I’m not what you read about. I’ll be back. In time. It can’t end like this. It won’t.”
With the release of the video, is harmless drinking enough to keep potential NFL suitors at bay? It’s a strong likelihood that it will. Considering that the Cleveland Browns released Manziel based on his lack of commitment to being an NFL quarterback, all of his troubles can be traced back to his habits of late night partying, drinking, and social media behavior. Not to mention not being the most prepared player to start with in his beginning stages of the NFL. So whether or not Manziel is taking his potential comeback attempt seriously will remain a topic that will be debated. But, it shouldn’t surprise Manziel if teams will keep passing on him until he shows he’s changing, more than just saying that he wants to change.
[Featured Image by Don Wright/AP Photo]