Johnny Manziel says he’s matured since leaving football, and he puts the blame for his tumultuous time in Cleveland on his shoulders. The famous football flameout went on the YNK podcast Tuesday and was surprisingly candid about his feelings toward his playing days.
Manziel spent two years as the Cleveland Browns quarterback before his NFL career ended in controversy and infamy. Nicknamed Johnny Football, Manziel admits to not taking the game or his teammates’ hard work seriously at the time. So he understands why they had no respect for him.
Looking back on it now, I would say I absolutely, 100 percent lost their respect. Why wouldn’t you? If I was one of them looking back at what I was doing, and your decisions that you make off the field impact if I put food on mine, yeah I’d feel some type of way, a hundred percent. I would say we wasted a draft pick to go get this guy who doesn’t give a f–k. And that’s my only thing in life that I haven’t been able to look back and, like, fully have closure on. … It’s probably one of the only things that I haven’t looked back on and been able to be like super, super OK with what happened.Johnny Manziel
Manziel said he feels especially bad for wasting the time of future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas. Thomas is one of the greatest NFL offensive linemen of all time.
“I didn’t have the grind in my mind like I did to be great in college like I did in Cleveland, and I feel disrespectful to the guys who were there, being legends because they worked their f–king ass off,” Manziel said.
He said he’s spoken with some of his former teammates and tried to make amends, but he says he knows it won’t change the past.
Johnny Manziel: On-Field Promise, Off-Field Problems
Manziel had one of the most promising college careers of all time. The Texas A&M standout was the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He’s quick feet and strong arm kept college defenses guessing.
But college isn’t the NFL.
Whereas he could get away with sloppy mechanics and a devil-may-care playstyle with the Aggies, NFL defenses would make him pay. And they did. In his 14 starts with the Browns, Manziel threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He only completed 57 percent of his passes, according to Pro Football Reference. Manziel admits now that he wasn’t willing to put the work in to improve his game when he played in the NFL.
Aside from his on-the-field problems, Manziel was famous for his partying ways. He was often spotted at night clubs and enjoying his fame. The NFL fined Manziel in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He even went to rehab in 2015 to treat drug and alcohol abuse, Bleacher Reporter said.
His career ended in infamy when he missed team events to go party in Las Vegas.
After flaming out of the NFL, Manziel took some time off before going to the Canadian Football League. He spent two turbulent years there before joining the Alliance of American Football league. That league folded. Manziel said earlier this year that he’s done with football, Yahoo said.