Johnny Football is hanging up his cleats for good.
In a recent article in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said he believes his football career is likely over.
“In the past, probably, is the way I’d characterize it,” Manziel said. “I’ve finally got to a point where I’m trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field.”
Despite the success he found in college, Manziel said when he got drafted, he lost his passion for the sport.
“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.”
Manziel’s NFL career ended after just two years, when the Cleveland Browns released him following several off-the-field incidents.
In 2018, Manziel got another chance at the sport when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League signed Manziel to a two-year contract. That didn’t last long though, as Manziel was traded to the Montreal Alouettes just two months later without ever playing a game for the Tiger-Cats.
In February 2019, Montreal released Manziel when the CFL determined he had “contravened” the terms of his CFL contract. He was barred from signing with another CFL team.
Less than a month later, Manziel joined the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football and played in two games before the dissolution of the league effectively ended his playing days.
“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,” Manziel said. “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.”
Though he said he doesn’t expect to return to the playing field, Manziel said he is grateful for the time he had and the lessons he learned.
“I had a great time,” Manziel said. “Anytime I ever stepped between the lines, I had an amazing time. I gave it everything I had.
“I think it’s just the work you put in when you have the free hours and when you do things on your own, that matches up accordingly with what happens on the field. And when you get to thinking that you’re too good or you’re better than the game, it’ll humble you. And that’s what happened. I got humbled. Thank God I did get a chance to be humbled, because when you think you’re at the top of the world, it’s a dangerous place.”
Regardless of the “what could have beens,” Manziel is content with the way his life has worked out.
“People can call me whatever they want, but at the end of the day, I’m proud of what I did,” Manziel said. “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...
“For now, I’m very, very content being chill.”