Johnny Manziel Talks Paying College Athletes, Saquon Barkley in TMZ Interview

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2015, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel speaks with media members following the team's 30-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, in Seattle. Manziel has been suspended for the first four games of next season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.The suspension announced Thursday, June 30, 2016, is not related to the NFL's domestic violence policy, but the free agent quarterback would be subject to it if he signs with another team. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel discussed the idea of paying college athletes and his thoughts on NFL draft prospect Saquon Barkley in an interview with TMZ Sports on Wednesday.

As seen in the following video, Manziel was vocal about college athletes being compensated:

"It's time," Manziel said. "I doubt it'll get done, but we'll see."

With regard to Barkley, Manziel called him a "beast" and said he's "pulling for him" when it comes to potentially being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

On Wednesday, Manziel responded to a Bleacher Report tweet about the NCAA making $1.1 billion in revenue during the 2017 fiscal year.

One of Manziel's tweets read "PAY UP PAY UP," and the other mentioned his desire to be paid for money the NCAA made off him during his collegiate playing days:

Johnny Manziel @JManziel2

I’ll take that jersey money from 2012-2013. I accept Cash, Check, Credit Card, and now accepting Bitcoin. No rush @NCAA I’ll be here https://t.co/WLSSc6b2vG

Pay-for-play has been a hot-button issue as of late in the wake of a report from Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde and Pete Thamel in which numerous programs and players were named in relation to an FBI probe surrounding corruption in college basketball.

Also, Manziel recently posted a photo of himself with Barkley on Instagram following an apparent workout:

Johnny Football called Barkley the "undisputed" top pick in the draft.

Barkley put forth a dominant performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, and in his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller predicted that Manziel's former team, the Cleveland Browns, will take Barkley No. 1 overall.