Johnny Quarterback is back in the news and — what a surprise — it isn’t for anything good.
But that’s not because he wasn’t destined for success.
The Texas A&M quarterback was the first-ever freshman awarded the Heisman Trophy. And following his sophomore year, he entered the NFL draft. At just 21 years old, Manziel was the 22nd overall pick, signing a 4-year, $8.25 million contract, with $6.7 million guaranteed, with the Cleveland Browns.
“Incredible feeling to officially sign my NFL contract. Such a dream come true and so many people to thank who have helped me reach this point in my life,” he said.
Apparently, the “incredible feeling” isn’t anything like the feeling of being drunk and high. Since that day in June of 2014 when he signed his contract — that was just 18 months ago — Manziel has singlehandedly self-destructed.
Manziel knows he has a problem. After last year’s Super Bowl, he checked himself into rehab (allegedly for alcohol and cocaine abuse) but his friendship with sobriety didn’t last long.
In October, Manziel’s girlfriend called 911, alleging he hit her several times in the car. He admitted they were both drinking. But the police, for whatever reason, chose not to take either into custody. And the NFL, for whatever reason, chose not to punish him.
Just last week, a video surfaced of Manziel rapping in a Christmas sweater, as if he was the new Eminem. A few weeks before that, a DJ posted a pic of Manziel sippin’ Dom P at a nightclub all the way in Texas…during the Browns’ bye week.
Head coach Mike Pettine quasi-defended Manziel, “These circumstances are different from the incident that occurred before. I’m just not going to go into a ton of detail with it until I get a little bit more information about it, but it’s something that I’m sure privately we’ll discuss if it needs to be discussed.” More information? The NFL certainly didn’t need more information about Ray Rice when his video surfaced.
The following week, Manziel got to start the game even though Pettine said, “You see the reputation, what was out there. I don’t think we anticipated that his problems, his issues, how deep-rooted they were, the extent of it.”
And now we learn that Manziel was spotted on Saturday night in Vegas, dining and playing blackjack at Planet Hollywood, even though the team had a game to play the next day. Granted, Manziel was out because of concussion protocol. Per NFL rules, Manziel couldn’t be on the sidelines during Browns away game but he certainly could have traveled with the team or, here’s an idea, stayed at home and watched the game while nursing a banged-up brain. According to NFL.com, “Team owner Jimmy Haslam confirmed Sunday night that Manziel didn’t appear for treatment, saying: ‘It’s my understanding he was not there this morning.'”
Manziel has always escaped accountability. As an Aggie, he was “investigated” for accepting money from brokers in exchange for 4,440 autographs — a violation of NCAA rules — but he skirted any real punishment with just a 1/2 game suspension for the first game of the 2013 season.
Then he escaped punishment for his alleged abuse of his girlfriend. Remember, it was Roger Goodell who said that the standard of conduct is higher now…that a player doesn’t have to be arrested for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
This entire season, the league hasn’t done a thing about Manziel’s selfish, alcohol-induced, behavior that is detrimental to the image of the NFL, to the Cleveland Browns, to his girlfriend, and to himself.
So let’s be honest, the NFL doesn’t care what Manziel does and they aren’t going to do anything to stop him from self-destructing.
Categories: NFL | Roger Goodell | Tamara N. Holder | TODAY'S TOP PLAYS