Johnny Manziel said Wednesday that a heart-to-heart conversation with his mother about the direction of his life caused him to jump-start his latest comeback attempt.
Manziel, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2015, told ESPN's Scott Van Pelt it reached a crossroads where he wondered "if my life was probably really worth living to a point anymore" before talking with his mom:
"My mom came to me one day and asked me—she didn't really ask, she was just in tears—'What are you doing with your life? Why do I have to go around and get this secondhand of words and conversations of the negative things you're doing around the world that's coming back to me?' And I saw how bad that it broke her heart, and it sucked. And it really hit home."
The 25-year-old Texas A&M product has tried to showcase a renewed dedication to football during recent pro-day appearances with the Aggies and the University of San Diego. He's also expected to take part in the new Spring League beginning in April.
Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. He faded out of the league after two seasons because of off-field problems.
In February 2016, the quarterback's father, Paul Manziel, sounded an alarm to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News about his son's hard-partying ways.
"I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday," he said.
Johnny Football, who says he's now sober, told Van Pelt his mistakes were not a reflection of how he was raised.
"I have a great family. I was always raised the right way. I knew the difference from right and wrong, but for whatever reason, I just liked to choose wrong," Manziel said. "And I got in that rut."
The Texas native recently told reporters he's willing to play in the Canadian Football League if an NFL opportunity doesn't arrive.