It is one thing to have a career cut short by injury, quite another
to sabotage yourself through self-inflicted wounds.
Doubts about Manziel's emotional stability and maturity contributed
to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner -- he was the first freshman to be
named the best player in college football -- falling to 22nd in the
2014 draft before he was finally picked up by the Cleveland Browns.
But Cleveland's new coach Hue Jackson apparently has decided he does
not want any further part of Manziel's shenanigans, and the Browns
are set to cut "Johnny Football" loose after two seasons and just 14
games, according to multiple reports.
The imminent move comes after his latest off-field news making
incident, a reported altercation with an ex-girlfriend which police
Manziel's clouded situation, amid continuing reports of excessive
drinking and gambling, brings to mind the fate of Ryan Leaf, the
second overall pick in the 1998 draft, who spent four seasons in the
league before his career was cut short by erratic behavior and poor
After falling out of the league, Leaf had drug-related legal issues
that briefly landed him in prison.
Manziel's multiple off-field indiscretions reportedly include
domestic disputes with his girlfriend and partying at inappropriate
times, and he spent 10 weeks at a rehab facility early last year.
He is not the only person in the world to enjoy a drink or a bet, or
to argue with his significant other, but context is everything.
Manziel's four-year contract with the Browns with $8 million
guaranteed should keep him out of the soup kitchen, and the big
question now is whether any other team will pick him up, given all
[to top of second column]
He did not exactly set the NFL alight in his few appearances after
joining the league with a reputation as a party-boy, but history
suggests that desperate teams take desperate measures, so do not
assume that we have seen the end of the quarterback.
Media reports suggest that the St. Louis Rams, who had the lowest
quarterback production in the league in 2015, are the team most
likely to express any immediate interest in Manziel.
The Texas native reportedly would like to play for the Dallas
Cowboys, and that might happen with team owner Jerry Jones having
expressed an interest early last month in Manziel, whose only other
realistic option might be Canada.
Alternatively, perhaps the 23-year-old could try his hand at
baseball. A promising high school player, Manziel was drafted by the
San Diego Padres in 2014.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark
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