The story of Johnny Manziel’s tumultuous football career is one that’s been well-documented. From winning the Heisman Trophy back in 2012 at Texas A&M and being a first-round NFL draft pick in 2014, to the history of alleged domestic violence and being out of the league by the end of the 2015 season. His partying ways kept him consistently in the spotlight and when all was said and done, he seemingly had very little, if any interest from NFL teams going into the 2016 season.
But, Johnny Football is pushing for an NFL comeback, and he’s serious about it.
Back in January, Manziel told ESPN’s Ed Werder that he was sober and refused to let partying derail his life.
“I refuse to let my entire life of sports from the age of 4 be squandered by partying. I just got sick of it. One day I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and realized I could really help people in the position I’m in.
“I love sports, I love football and when you take something away from yourself you realize it the hard way. The happiness from doing it sober has been ASTRONOMICAL. Beyond my wildest imagination and once that continued other good things started happening in my life and it just clicked.”
Obviously, nothing has come of that just yet, but Manziel recently spoke with Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News about how much he misses playing football.
He also spoke with Machota about being hopeful that he’ll be able to get back into the NFL.
This isn’t the first that’s been heard of a comeback push from Manziel, though. He’s actually been putting in a lot of work over at least the last 6-8 months in preparation for another possible opportunity. As you can see, he’s seemingly spent less time partying and much more time working out.
Learning to fall in love with the little things again. Toe down through the throw and using more of my base than all upper body. Stop "sweeping" across the ball and cutting the thing off at the top of the motion. Starting with a blank canvas all over again but DAMN ITS FUN TO BE BACK ON THE FIELD WHIT. Simplistic mindset, relentless consistency, and good people in my corner @georgewhitfieldjr @mjope @hankspeights @qbshooter @dakotap9 @t_pip2
Manziel has even spent quite a bit of time training with New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. as well.
Manziel is obviously going to have to prove to a team that he’s prepared to fully focus on football if he wants to get another chance. But in another interesting side story, if he wasn’t able to get an opportunity in the league this year, he could potentially head to the Canadian Football League. If he chose to do that, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would get the first opportunity to sign Manziel, Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick if they chose to play in Canada.
There’s no question that the former Texas A&M star is hot on the comeback trail. And for what it’s worth, his former teammate and current San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin said on NFL Network in June that Manziel “looked good.”
“I saw Johnny about a month ago with this [physical therapy] guy we go to in San Diego,” Benjamin said. “He looked good, he said he’s ready to come back. Hopefully he gets a shot at a team and he continues to humble himself and play good.”
Benjamin continued to also explain to Andrew Siciliano on “up to the Minute” why a team should give Manziel a chance.
“You’re going to have a guy that comes in ready to prove himself, ready to get his second chance at what he does best,” Benjamin said.
Time will tell if and when Manziel will get another chance in the NFL. But if a team does choose to give a player who certainly has plenty of talent one more opportunity, don’t be surprised if they wind up happy that they did so.