DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Johnny Football might be no more as the former Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns first-round pick appears to walking away from the game for good.
"In the past, probably, is the way I'd characterize it," Manziel said of his football career to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal over the weekend. "I've finally got to a point where I'm trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field ... I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give it another chance, but I don't know, as far as being a person and figuring out life as a young adult ... if I've ever been in a better place than I'm in right now. I can honestly say I'm happy and I'm doing the right things to try and put a smile on my face every day, and that means more to me than going out and grinding on a football field."
It's been a wild ride for Manziel on and off the field since he became a polarizing figure at Texas A&M in 2012. Manziel won the Heisman that year and two years later was taken with the No. 22 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns to be their franchise quarterback.
After just two seasons, the Browns released Manziel on March. 11, 2016. In January of that same year, Manziel was being investigated for a domestic violence incident involving his ex-girlfriend.
In 2018, Manziel signed a deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He appeared in 8 games for Montreal that season and was slated to compete for the starting job in 2019 when the CFL ordered Montreal to release him after it was found that he had "contravened the agreement which made him eligible to play in the league."
The 27-year-old last played a professional football game with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football in 2019 before it folded.
Manziel is running out of options if he wants to continue playing. The CFL says none of their teams are permitted to sign him and the now-bankrupt XFL already passed on him before their season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, Manziel is okay with that.
"I think it's just, the work you put in when you have the free hours and when you do things on your own, that matches up accordingly with what happens on the field," he said. "And when you get to thinking that you're too good or you're better than the game, it'll humble you. And that's what happened. I got humbled. Thank God I did get a chance to be humbled, because when you think you're at the top of the world, it's a dangerous place."