Johnny Manziel, or “Johnny Football”, began his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd overall selection in the 2014 draft. During his college career at Texas A&M (From 2012-2014), Manziel was a star quarterback, winning the 2012 Heisman trophy, Manning Award and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback award. He broke records and let the A&M football program to many victories. Now he is in rehab.
He was also known for his interests in partying and other extracurricular activities. While attending A&M in 2012, Manziel was arrested after getting into an altercation at a bar and was found carrying two fake IDs. In early 2013, Manziel posted an Instagram picture of himself holding money at a casino. He deleted the photo after negative feedback.
Manziel was also spotted by TMZ at 21-and-over night club holding a bottle of booze (when he was not yet 21). But according to reports from the owner of the club, his parents were also there that night. In June of 2013, Manziel was kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party after having beer poured on him. In August, he was suspended for half of the season’s first game because the NCAA was investigating if he had profited from autographed memorabilia. Manziel also cultivated a relationship with the Hip-Hop/Rap artist Drake. One of the worst PR moves he made was leaving the 2013 Manning Passing Camp early. He said illness was the reason, but there were rumors of too much partying.
In January of 2014, Manziel began the NFL draft paperwork. Last year he also made headlines because of photos of him at a Las Vegas Memorial day party, X Games party and Drake’s Houston Appreciation Weekend. While playing for the Browns, Manziel was fined more than $12 thousand for giving the finger to an opposing team’s bench. After he threw a party in December, he was late for a hamstring treatment and fined. Multiple other teammates were also punished because of events started by the party he threw.
After Manziel’s disappointing first NFL season, on February 2, 2015, he entered a rehabilitation center at his own will. This is most likely to address his issues with alcohol. Manziel family advisor Brad Beckworth said, “Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step.” So what will this do for his career?
It looks like some endorsement deals could be on the rocks. Before the season started, Manziel had deals with Nike, Snickers, McDonald’s, Nissan and MusclePharm. The Snicker’s commercial with Manziel as an aerobics teachers has been very popular recently:
According to the parent company, Mars, the commercial was on schedule to stop airing before the news that Manziel was entering rehab. Although there was some speculation that the company had pulled the ad. But what about his other endorsements? These brands may be unsure if Manziel is reliable and a good investment.
After being drafted by the Browns, Manziel signed a 4 year, more than $8 million contract. Will this rehabilitation stint affect Manziel’s game and relationship with the team? The Brown’s owner, Jimmy Haslam, is already dealing with a few other public relations problems, including the suspension of the Brown’s receiver Josh Gordon. Fortunately for Manziel, the Brown’s general manager said the team supports his decision and fully support him.
So what’s next for Johnny? Will his stint in rehab redirect the path he has been going down? I have a feeling the NFL, the Browns, Texas A&M and Johnny Football supporters all hope so. If he doesn’t change his habits, the NFL career that he has worked so hard for may not be going anywhere.