Johnny Manziel on Potential Comeback in The Rock's XFL: 'I'm Retired, Dude'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2020

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. Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel wants to remain in the sports world, possibly as a college coach. In an interview with Outkick the Coverage at the International Football Betting Conference in Costa Rica, Manziel said he has thought about what he would do if he fails to resume his NFL playing career. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel downplayed his interest in starting a potential NFL comeback in the XFL, which was recently purchased by a group that includes Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"I'm retired, dude," Manziel told TMZ Sports on Friday.

The 27-year-old Texas A&M product most recently played for the AAF's Memphis Express in 2019 after spending the 2018 season in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes. He was released by the Browns in March 2016 after two years in the NFL.

"Listen, anything The Rock touches is gonna be gold as always," Manziel told TMZ. "But I think football is a little bit behind me. I'm just trying do to other things in life that make me happy. That's it."

Manziel took the football world by storm in 2012 when he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy after he accounted for 47 touchdowns (26 passing and 21 rushing) in 13 games for the Aggies.

"Johnny Football" recorded 46 more touchdowns in 2013 before the Browns selected him with the 22nd pick in 2014.

The Texas native flamed out in the NFL, however, throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in 14 appearances across two seasons. Surrounding and during that stretch, Manziel sought help in a drug and alcohol treatment facility, and was later charged with domestic assault.

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Manziel told TMZ he still stays in shape but isn't particularly focused on getting back on the gridiron.

"You never say never, I'm still an athletic guy ... but at the end of the day, let's see where the rest of life takes me and we'll go from there," he said. "Football for me is not at the forefront of my mind. It's just chillin' and being one of the bros."

He failed to make an impact in either the CFL or the AAF, and he wasn't a candidate for the 2020 season of the XFL based on the "high character" standards put in place by then-owner Vince McMahon of the WWE.

Even if The Rock and his business partners make new eligibility guidelines, it doesn't sound like Manziel is interested in joining the spring league.

In all likelihood, he's played his final NFL down.