Johnny Manziel was once one of the National Football League’s most likely to succeed rookies, but his behavioral problems got in the way of his promising career.
While this former Cleveland Browns quarterback was once known as “Johnny Football,” his off-field antics have prevented him from ever having the chance to join the NFL again.
The story of Johnny Manziel has become a modern “rookie gone wrong” story that other professional football teams hope to never repeat.
What Pick Was Johnny Manziel?
Johnny Manziel was the 22nd pick for the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 National Football League Draft.
Manziel was one of the most awaited players to come out of the college football league when he dropped out of Texas A&M to join the 2014 Draft.
When the Cleveland Browns first drafted Manziel, they hoped that the young player would be enough to break the losing streak that the Ohio team had been on for years.
Rather than bring the team hope, Manziel went on to become one of the biggest drafting mistakes that the Browns had made in years.
Throughout his college career, Johnny Manziel had made a name for himself.
Critics of the new player were willing to recognize the talent that the young quarterback had, but felt that his luck would fizzle out by the time he got to the National Football League.
Throughout Manziel’s career with the Cleveland Browns, he only played 14 games across two seasons and was the starting quarterback for eight of those games.
He only threw for 1,675 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and completed 57% of his passes over the entire course of his career.
Head coach Barry Switzer would go on to call Johnny Manziel both an “arrogant little pr—” and one of the greatest quarterbacks that he had ever seen.
Manziel may have been known for his unbelievable talent, but he was also known for his poor attitude.
The Cleveland Browns, like the rest of the National Football League teams, knew that Manziel could be trouble off of the field.
They were so desperate at the time that they were willing to turn a blind eye to Manziel’s past if the college football star was talented enough to help lead the Ohio team to victory.
Why Did Johnny Manziel Leave The National Football League?
Johnny Manziel was removed from the National Football League after allegations of domestic violence arose from Manziel’s ex-girlfriend.
However, trouble with Manziel’s behavior began to arise well before the allegations became public knowledge.
During the 2014 preseason, Manziel was fined $12,000 for flipping off members of the NFL team in Washington, DC.
Manziel would not play his first professional game until November of that same year, replacing Brian Hoyer.
The first game that Manziel ever started was against the Cincinnati Bengals, where he threw 80 yards, 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 27.3.
After being sacked three times, Manziel and the Browns lost to the Bengals 30-0.
During his second starting game, Manziel was injured halfway through the game and needed to be replaced by Brian Hoyer.
This injury prevented Manziel from playing again for his entire rookie season, ending his season with a total of 18 completed passes, 176 passing yards, and only 2 interceptions.
The 2015 season was looking better for Manziel after he was called to replace Josh McCown after the quarterback was injured.
Johnny Football was even able to score his first professional touchdown during a game against the New York Jets after throwing the winning ball to receiver Travis Benjamin.
However, the rookie returned to his old antics in 2015 when he decided to take a trip to Las Vegas.
He ended up arriving in Cleveland late and missed a morning check-in just before he was supposed to play.
The moment that officially ended Johnny Manziel’s career was when he began being investigated as a part of a domestic violence case involving the player’s ex-girlfriend.
Manziel was officially released from the Cleveland Browns on March 11th of 2016 after he couldn’t meet his team’s “expectations for our players on and off the field.”
Did Johnny Manziel Have A Drug Problem?
Yes, Johnny Manziel had a drug problem that was being investigated during his domestic violence case.
Although talk of Manziel’s substance abuse started as rumors, the quarterback’s father confirmed that his son had a drug addiction.
Manziel’s substance abuse started in college when he would frequently go out partying with his friends and would drink excessive amounts of beer.
Manziel’s parents believed that his addiction to alcohol was fueled by the newfound level of fame that the young quarterback reached.
Steve Brant, Manziel’s college roommate and longtime best friend, claimed that his parents found out about his drug problem after his mother found drug paraphernalia in his room.
His parents quickly moved him out of the house.
After discussing the problem with a drug therapist who was the father of one of Johnny Manziel’s friends, his parents found out that Manziel had been abusing Xanax, MDMA, Ecstasy, and even cocaine.
The Manziels were quick to point to Brant as the one to blame for introducing Manziel to drugs, which Brant has admitted to using himself.
Johnny Manziel did have close friends who were trying to convince the young football star to cut back on his use of drugs, even going so far as to remind him of how the drugs could affect his professional career.
His friends even tried to hold a meeting in order to discuss his behavior and well-being since he had begun abusing drugs.
After a media swarm surrounding his drug use, Manziel seemed to have taken action in regard to his drug addiction and its effect on those close to him.
However, Manziel’s drinking problem would come back in 2015 when his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley called the police.
Crowley told police that they were drunk and fighting when Manziel became violent, hitting her and slamming her head against the car’s window.
Does Johnny Manziel Still Play Football?
Yes, Johnny Manziel still plays football for Fan Controlled Football’s team, the Zappers.
This unique football league allows its viewers on Twitch to control the games from the comfort of their own homes.
Fan Controlled Football features seven-on-seven games that are played in an Atlanta indoor facility.
The league combines the attributes of both traditional football broadcasting and broadcasting techniques from esports.
Johnny Football knows that his professional career with traditional professional leagues is over, so he sees these games as a fun way to continue doing what he does best while also not having to take games too seriously.
Manziel claims that he no longer has the same passion for football that he was famous for as a rookie.
Without this passion, the troubled quarterback no longer feels that he can play or train on the same level that he used to.
Manziel has come to terms with the way his professional football career ended and is still getting comfortable with the lifestyle he’s living now.
After leaving both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League, Manziel was desperate to stay involved in the football scene.
Thanks to his connections with Fan Controlled Football owners Bob Menery and rapper Quavo, Johnny Manziel was able to find a new home among the Fan Controlled Football players.
The league recently expanded from four teams to eight teams, which has allowed for additional celebrity owners.
Some of the other owners include National Football League players such as Marshawn Lynch, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, and Richard Sherman.
With all these well-known owners adding their names to the new league, Fan Controlled Football was able to secure a $40 million Series A raise and has been pouring more resources into expanding and popularizing the new format of professional football.
Was Johnny Manziel Born Rich?
Yes, Johnny Manziel was born rich.
His family has been incredibly wealthy for three generations.
The Manziel family first found their fortune when Johnny Manziel’s great-grandfather, Bobby Joe Manziel struck it rich in the oil business during the 1930s after moving to Texas from Lebanon.
Prior to Manziel entering the oil business, he was a boxer who befriended and trained with famous heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Dempsey.
After retiring from boxing, Manziel decided to move to the United States.
He asked Dempsey to loan him $400 because he wanted to drill for oil in East Texas.
The Manziel family found immense amounts of wealth as oil barons and became a household name around Texas.
However, Bobby Joe Manziel’s son went on to heavily muddy the family name.
By 2002, Johnny Manziel’s grandfather had been charged with driving while intoxicated, evading arrest, interfering with the duties of a public servant, and even bribery.
Critics of Johnny Manziel have blamed his lack of motivation during his football career on the fact that his family has been worth millions his entire life.
While some critics were also not pleased with the way that Manziel showed himself flaunting his wealth by flying around in his private jet and going to a bunch of National Basketball Association games, he wasn’t doing it with the money he was making from the National Football League.
Unlike the majority of players in professional football, Manziel came from a family with plenty of resources, and his success in the league wouldn’t determine his future wealth.
Often, what presses many professional athletes to play and behave well is the fact that their newfound wealth is changing the course of their family’s financial trajectory.
Whether it was Manziel’s private problems or his multigenerational wealth, his performance left much to be desired.
Is Johnny Manziel Married?
No, Johnny Manziel is no longer married, but the quarterback was married in 2018.
Manziel was previously married to Bre Tiesi, but the couple was divorced by early November of 2021.
They first started dating in 2016 and were engaged by 2017.
Only a year after they were married, Tiesi scrubbed her social media page clean of pictures of her then-husband and claimed that the reasoning was that “vows were broken.”
Despite their short-lived marriage, Tiesi told TMZ that she was “still cool” with Johnny Manziel.
The model claimed that she and her ex-husband spoke often and that she still wished him all the best luck in life.
Johnny Manziel believes that his marriage and even his divorce from Bre Tiesi saved his life and helped him grow as a person.
Even as the couple was going through a divorce after a rocky marriage, Manziel claimed that Tiesi was still helping him see things from a new perspective and that it was because he was going through the situation with her in particular that he was able to cope with it all.
Although it has been a year since their divorce, Johnny Manziel has been brought back into the news after Bre Tiesi announced that she was pregnant with celebrity host Nick Cannon’s eighth child.
Tiesi first announced her pregnancy by posting photos across social media from her and Cannon’s gender reveal party.
The gender announcement was done using a helicopter and revealed the couple is expecting a son.
Although this will be Cannon’s eighth child, their son will be Tiesi’s first child.
At first, nobody had heard anything from the model’s ex-husband until Johnny Manziel jokingly reposted a photo of Nick Cannon next to a vending machine filled with condoms with the caption, “If you know, you know.”
Why Did Johnny Manziel Leave The Canadian Football League?
Johnny Manziel was banned from the Canadian Football League after he “violated a condition of his agreement with the league.”
Before he was banned, Manziel was playing for the Montreal Alouettes in 2019 and had previously played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017.
A year after his firing from the Cleveland Browns and the National Football League, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats engaged in negotiations with Manziel for months.
After a year of debating, the Tiger-Cats signed Manziel to play in the Spring League in 2018 and later signed the quarterback to a two-year contract.
By the following July, Manziel was traded to the Montreal Alouettes.
According to the Montreal Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed, the team and league had put a lot of resources in place in order to help the young quarterback have a successful transition into the new league.
However, Manziel did not apply the effort necessary to make the changes that the Canadian Football League wanted out of him.
When Johnny Manziel first joined his new league, he had to sit down with Commissioner Randy Ambrosie to put together “a number of conditions in order to remain eligible.”
According to Ambrosie, there was an extensive list of expectations that Manziel would have to meet if he wanted to be a quarterback in the Canadian League that Ambrosie intended to keep confidential.
Despite how his short career ended with the Canadian Football League, Manziel felt that his passion for football had been renewed at the time.
Manziel was eager to return to the United States in hopes of finding new football-related work, but the one-time star player never received a call from the National Football League or one of the other professional leagues that have risen to compete against the longtime American favorite.
When Did Johnny Manziel Win The Heisman Trophy?
During his freshman year of college football with Texas A&M, Manziel threw for 3,706 yards, had 9 interceptions, and had 26 touchdowns.
The game that put young Manziel on the professional football radar was when Texas A&M was going against the University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.
Manziel dominated the field and helped lead his team to victory with a score of 11-2.
Johnny Manziel was nominated for the 2012 Heisman Trophy alongside Braxton Miller of Ohio State, Manti Te’o of Notre Dame, and Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina.
Manziel believes what pushed him to become such a strong player on the field was the punishment he received from his coach after getting caught partying and drinking underage.
In 2013, Manziel had been caught using a fake ID to get alcohol after he got into a drunken brawl and the police were called to the scene.
When the police questioned Manziel, he gave them a fake ID that listed his birth year as 1990 instead of 1992.
After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, Texas A&M suspended him from being able to play for their team.
However, the college’s football coach Kevin Sumlin felt that Manziel’s behavior wouldn’t benefit from being suspended and instead proposed that the college allow Manziel to play as long as he was getting additional guidance from the coach.
As punishment, Sumlin had Manziel running gassers every single day.
Gassers are known for being the toughest sprint drills, but they’re also excellent for building up speed and endurance.
Looking back, Manziel found it shocking that he started his college football career by being punished and ended the year with the Heisman Trophy.
Is Johnny Manziel Actually Friends With Drake?
Yes, Johnny Manziel is actually friends with Drake and is known for having a long list of celebrity friends.
While his career was rising and falling, Manziel found that his relationship with the rapper was one of the few relationships that didn’t turn sour.
Manziel first met Drake when he was 18 years old, and the pair became quick friends, talking every couple of weeks.
Over the course of their friendship, they began to hang out more frequently and get to know each other on a deeper level.
After getting to know Drake better, Johnny Manziel felt that he and the rapper would be friends for a long time.
Although Manziel and Drake’s relationship has been well documented throughout their respective careers, the songwriter isn’t the only celebrity friend that Manziel made during his early years of football.
The former Cleveland Browns quarterback has also reported being friends with National Basketball Association legend LeBron James.
The athletes were so close that James told Manziel that he was returning to Cleveland two weeks ahead of announcing it publicly.
However, their friendship came to a standstill after the domestic violence allegations against Manziel began coming up.
After that point, Manziel hadn’t heard from James and felt that James’s decision to cut ties with him was completely understandable.
Rather than talking to LeBron James, Johnny Manziel had gone out to dinner with James’s close friend and business partner, Maverick Carter.
Manziel later got a call from Carter and James’s marketing company that he could no longer be represented by them.
The quarterback was still grateful for all the support he received from LeBron James over the course of their friendship.