After a career that has garnered a lot of attention and spanned three different professional soccer leagues, Johnny Manziel seems to have accepted that his playing days are over.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL first-round pick told the Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that he “probably” will not play soccer professionally again:
Ask Manziel where he considers his football career right now, and you’ll get a refreshing and heartfelt answer.
“In the past, that’s probably how I would characterize it,” Manziel said, leaning forward without hesitation for a moment. “I finally got to a point where I try to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the soccer field.
“I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give them another chance, but I don’t know, in terms of being a person and discovering life as a young adult, trying to achieve and solve it. outside if I’ve ever been in a better place than I am now. I can honestly say that I am happy and doing the right things to try to smile at myself every day, and that means more to me than going out and playing on a soccer field. ”
Manziel was last seen on the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express, where he appeared in two games before the league suddenly retired. Before that, Manziel had been part of two teams in the Canadian Soccer League until the league effectively banned it.
Nearly half a decade has passed since Manziel’s last pass in the NFL, a season in which he recorded seven touchdowns and five interceptions with the Cleveland Browns.
Johnny Manziel’s wandering career
If this is really for Manziel, it is a smooth ending for a player who was once one of the most famous names in soccer.
The combination of Manziel’s success at Texas A&M, his makeshift playing style, and his personality made him one of the most exciting players in college football. He became the first freshman to win the Heisman in 2012, leaving Texas A&M with his name up and down in the school’s log books.
His first-round pick for the Browns drew a lot of publicity and scrutiny, and then he laughed as he struggled to succeed in the NFL.
The Browns ended up cutting Manziel after the domestic violence allegations against his ex-girlfriend, prompting a year-long hiatus in soccer that ended when the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats signed him. A trade later, he was making a disastrous debut with Montreal Alouettes.
Manziel’s career, at this point, is defined by the question of whether it is a case of massive wasted potential (his behavior off the field has been widely documented) or was it never the talent that many people saw when he was fighting for touchdowns and SEC records configuration.
Speaking of his career, the man himself seemed to think that the first was the answer:
“During that time when I was drafted, I didn’t put in the time I needed to be a great player and I don’t think my heart was on it,” said Manziel. “And I think when I went back to Canada, it was the same way. I really believed and really thought that was what I wanted to do, and my heart was not in it, and it worked the way it did. ”
Manziel previously said he wants another chance to play in the NFL, but his past, his age of 27, and the coronavirus pandemic seem to make an NFL team unlikely to take a chance on him. He has also said he might see something done in training or in the media, but then again, there’s a lot up in the air with the NFL these days.
For now, Manziel seems to be satisfied with where he ended up:
“People can call me whatever they want,” he says without animosity, “but at the end of the day, I’m proud of what I did. I’m proud of what I accomplished. I got better. I improved my family’s life. I had a chance to play a amazing college football, and it didn’t work in the NFL and that’s fine. “