When Johnny Manziel suggested in February that he has “zero desire to play any football these days,” he just might have been telling the truth. Speaking with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Texas) this weekend, the former Texas A&M star indicated that he’s done with professional football for good, saying his career is likely “in the past.”
“In the past, probably, is the way I’d characterize it,” Manziel told Don Williams. “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.”
The former Cleveland Browns first-round draft pick hinted at continuing his career as recently as February, tweeting — and then deleting — thoughts about joining the revived XFL. He also began an unofficial comeback tour in 2018 when he joined the Canadian Football League, even suiting up for the Memphis Express of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football in 2019. But the reality is Manziel hasn’t seen an NFL field in a half-decade and reportedly also fell out of favor with his last CFL team, the Montreal Alouettes.
Manziel acknowledged to Williams, as he’s done with others on other occasions, that he didn’t take his pro responsibilities seriously upon entering the NFL in 2014, when he went 22nd overall to the Browns.
“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.”