Johnny Manziel: Football Career Is 'In the Past,' 'Proud' of Accomplishments

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 28, 2020

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel celebrates as he leaves the field after a Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express AAF football game, Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. against the Memphis won in overtime 31-25. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Johnny Manziel has experienced so many highs and lows over the last decade it can be hard to remember he's still just 27 years old.

He has his whole life ahead of him—it just won't include football. Manziel seems at peace with that notion, telling Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal his time as a pro quarterback is over:

"In the past, probably, is the way I'd characterize [my football career]. I've finally got to a point where I'm trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field.

"I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give it another chance, but I don't know, as far as being a person and figuring out life as a young adult—trying to make it and figure it out—if I've ever been in a better place than I'm in right now. I can honestly say I'm happy and I'm doing the right things to try and put a smile on my face every day, and that means more to me than going out and grinding on a football field."

The former Texas A&M star last played with the Memphis Express of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. He played in just two games before the league folded, suffering a concussion during his second appearance that forced him to the sidelines.

Originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 22 overall pick in 2014, Manziel admitted he never put in the work off the field needed to succeed on it. That continued even after he flamed out of the league in 2015 and attempted a comeback in the Canadian Football League.

"During that time when I got drafted, I didn't put in the time that I needed to be a great player and I don't think my heart was in it," Manziel said. "And I think when I went back to Canada, it was the same way. I truly believed and truly thought it was what I wanted to do, and my heart wasn't in it, and it worked out the way it did."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Manziel's CFL career lasted shorter than his NFL attempt did, as bounced between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes in 2018.

If this really is the end for Johnny Football, he still has plenty to boast about. Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy, earned consensus All-American honors and passed for seven touchdowns in the NFL.

Few quarterbacks can say the same, and Manziel doesn't seem a need to apologize for how his professional career turned out.

"People can call me whatever they want," Manziel told Williams. "But at the end of the day, I'm proud of what I did. I'm proud of what I accomplished. I bettered myself. I bettered my family's life. I got a chance to play amazing college football, and it didn't work out in the NFL and that's OK."

Related

    NFL Stars Don't Like Proposal

    Pat Mahomes, Michael Thomas and other stars were not happy after seeing NFL’s plan to hold 35% of salaries in escrow

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL Stars Don't Like Proposal

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    NFL Proposes to Hold Salaries

    NFLPA says league wants to hold 35 percent of player salaries in escrow if revenue is impacted by COVID-19 (NFL Network)

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL Proposes to Hold Salaries

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Clowney in SEA More Likely 📈

    Seattle Times says ‘odds likely increasing he plays another year in Seattle’ with every team that falls through

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Clowney in SEA More Likely 📈

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    NFL, NFLPA Reach Agreement on Travel Protocols for Camps, Preseason

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL, NFLPA Reach Agreement on Travel Protocols for Camps, Preseason

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report