Johnny Manziel Suspended by NFL: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2016

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel warms-up before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

On the heels of myriad off-field issues, including an alleged altercation with his ex-girlfriend, quarterback Johnny Manziel was reportedly suspended for four games by the NFL on Thursday.

According to TMZ Sports, the suspension is related to a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the "suspension only applies to substance abuse. If he signs, he's subject to the personal conduct policy (his legal case)."

The Cleveland Browns selected Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft after his spectacular collegiate career, which included winning the Heisman Trophy. Following two years of headaches, however, the Browns released Manziel on March 11.

In addition to his substance-abuse issues, Manziel has come under fire for an alleged incident that took place Jan. 30.

According to Rebecca Lopez of WFAA News 8 in Dallas, Manziel's ex-girlfriend—Colleen Crowley—alleged that the embattled signal-caller hit her, dragged her by her hair and threatened her by saying, "Shut up or I'll kill us both."

The former Texas A&M star denied the accusations when questioned by TMZ Sports and insisted all was well: "I'm completely stable. I'm safe and secure."

Lopez and colleague Landon Haaf also reported Manziel had been indicted on a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the incident.

The Tyler, Texas, native turned himself in May 4 before posting $1,500 bond. He was ordered to have no contact with Crowley and was also barred from possessing firearms, according to Frank Heinz of NBCDFW.com.

Manziel's controversy prompted agent Erik Burkhardt to drop the mercurial quarterback as a client shortly after LRMR marketing agency cut ties with him.

Manziel subsequently hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent, but Rosenhaus dropped the quarterback shortly thereafter and urged him to seek treatment, according to ESPN.com:

I have terminated the standard representation with Johnny Manziel in the hopes of helping him get the treatment I believe he needs. I have informed him that if he takes the immediate steps I have outlined for him that I will rescind the termination and continue to represent him. Otherwise the termination will become permanent. There is a five-day window for me to rescind the termination. I'm hoping he takes the necessary steps to get his life back on track.

In the wake of Rosenhaus' announcement, Manziel was accused of trashing a West Hollywood mansion he rented by hosting parties that featured rampant alcohol and drug use, per Emily Smith of Page Six.

According to ESPN.com's Pat McManamon, Manziel and Crowley were pulled over in October after an argument, during which Crowley accused Manziel of pushing her head against the window.

Manziel admitted he had been drinking earlier in the day despite entering a rehab facility prior to the 2015 season.

Partying apparently continued to be an issue for Manziel throughout 2015 and early 2016, as the Browns demoted him to third string at one point following the surfacing of a video that showed him holding what looked like a champagne bottle.

Also, Mitch Moss of the Las Vegas Sports Network reported in January that Manziel was allegedly spotted partying in Las Vegas while wearing a disguise that included a blond wig.

With so many transgressions mounting for Manziel, his father, Paul Manziel, expressed a great deal of concern for his son's well-being, per Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News: "I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday."

After defense attorney Bob Hinton accidentally sent a text to the Associated Press indicating a plea deal would be difficult to land for Manziel, Paul had more to say regarding his son, according to ESPN (h/t FoxNews.com):

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. I mean, I hate to say it, but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him.

The 23-year-old Manziel was already facing an uphill climb in terms of catching on with another team, but the suspension won't do him any favors.

On the field, Manziel hasn't proved to be a quality NFL player.

He threw for 1,500 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in six starts and 10 games overall last season, posting a record of just 2-4.

Teams are often willing to gamble on quarterbacks based on talent alone, but now that Manziel has been barred from playing, it is fair to wonder if his NFL career has already ended.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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