Johnny Manziel Comments on Sobriety, NFL Comeback Attempt in TMZ Exclusive

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2016

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel sits at the back of the courtroom while his defense attorneys confer with the prosecution during his initial hearing, Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Dallas. The Heisman Trophy winner and former Texas A&M star was indicted by a grand jury last month after his ex-girlfriend alleged he hit her and threatened to kill her during a night out in January. No plea was entered, but defense attorney Robert Hinton says Manziel plans to plead not guilty. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)
Associated Press

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel said he's prepared to end his partying ways in favor of rigorous training for an NFL comeback once he finishes his vacation in Mexico. 

TMZ Sports spoke with Manziel this week to discuss a picture posted by a woman staying in the same Cabo San Lucas mansion that appeared to show drugs in small bags. The Texas A&M product stated he's stayed away from anything like that during his trip.

"They're absolutely not mine. I don't even know that girl," he said.

Instead, Manziel told TMZ Sports he's returning to the football grind starting July 1. He's planning to stay away from alcohol and drugs, start eating healthy and dedicate all of his time to getting himself in the necessary shape to earn another NFL opportunity.

The Browns released the 23-year-old Texas native in March after an extended string of off-field issues. He's since remained a free agent.

Amara Grautski of the New York Daily News reported Monday that Bob Hinton, a lawyer working with Manziel in a domestic violence case involving former girlfriend Colleen Crowley, withdrew after accidentally sending a text message questioning whether Manziel could stay sober as part of a plea deal.

Josina Anderson of ESPN previously provided frank comments made by the quarterback's father, Paul Manziel, about his son's current status.

"He's a druggie. It's not a secret that he's a druggie," Paul Manziel said last Friday. "I don't know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn't [sought] it yet. Hopefully he doesn't die before he comes to his senses. That's about all you can say. I don't know what else to say."

He added: "He has more money than me, so he can outrun me. Like I said, there are two things that are going to happen: He's either going to die, or he's going to figure out that he needs help. It's one of the two."

Now that Manziel has set a self-imposed timetable to get sober and refocus on football, it will be interesting to see whether he can do so.

It's a long road back to the NFL for the 2014 first-round pick. Teams are going to proceed with extreme caution before even giving him a tryout, let alone signing him to a contract with any guaranteed money. He must prove he's changed his off-field ways to earn the second chance he covets.