Johnny Manziel is currently out of work, having been cut by the Browns and apparently without other NFL teams climbing over each other to secure his services. However, the quarterback told a website that “of course” he’d be playing football again.
It might not surprise you to learn that the website to which Manziel, 23, was speaking was TMZ. And that his comments came as he emerged from a Hollywood nightclub.
The actual question a TMZ Sports reporter asked was, “Johnny, are we going to see you playing football next year, man?” To which Manziel replied, “Of course, my man.”
Note that the question — and the answer — didn’t specify playing football in, you know, the NFL next year. Or in the CFL, AFL or any other league that would prefer its players not spend more time partying than practicing.
If Manziel doesn’t seem to appreciate his golden opportunity to earn a fine living as a professional athlete, he at least appreciates TMZ. That’s literally what he said after the question about playing football, pausing to shake the reporter’s hand as he got into a large car with his crew: “My TMZ family, I appreciate you, bro, I appreciate you.”
Manziel then struck a note of (presumably) unintentional pathos, looking directly at the camera and saying, “To my mom back at home in Tyler, Texas, we love you, all of you,” before offering a shout-out to Texas A&M, where he won the 2012 Heisman Trophy. In February, Paul Manziel, the quarterback’s father, told a Dallas newspaper, “I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday.”
An alleged incident of domestic violence between Manziel and his ex-girlfriend in January has been recommended for consideration by a Dallas grand jury, and NFL teams, assuming they have any interest at all in signing him, are likely waiting to see how that plays out. Meanwhile, “Johnny Football” appears, as usual, not quite as interested as he theoretically should be in putting himself in position to play that sport professionally again.