The fall of Johnny Football

Sports writer Patrick Pace Photo credit: Cam Lesslie

Sports writer Patrick Pace Photo credit: Cam Lesslie

Johnny Manziel needs to take a break from football and focus on other aspects of his life.

He hasn’t shown that he is ready to be a part of the NFL, and definitely not a team’s starting quarterback. If he doesn’t stop causing problems for himself and those around him, he should never play another snap in the league.

Manziel may go down as one of the biggest busts in football history.

The Cleveland Browns could have drafted Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater was a stud quarterback coming off an outstanding junior year at the University of Louisville. The year before the draft, he threw for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He was known for being a hard worker and never had any off the field issues. Bridgewater helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs last year while the Browns had the worst record in their division and tied for the worst record in the league. The Browns elected to use their 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 draft to pick up Johnny Manziel.

Manziel was a Heisman trophy-winning quarterback coming off a sophomore year in which he threw for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns as well as running for nine. However, he threw 13 interceptions and was known to go out and party. In fact, in the summer between his first-year and sophomore season, there were already signs that he was not mature enough to handle the pressures of the NFL. His parents even said they were worried that he would not be able to handle his newfound stardom.

From the day he was drafted, it seems like opposing defenses could not wait to face him. I remember watching a preseason game during his rookie season in which a defender sacked him and then got up and did the money dance that Manziel had made famous in college. I knew right then and there that he was going to have a tough time in the league.

Though you would think Manziel would have humbled himself throughout his two terrible years in Cleveland, that was not the case. Manziel remained his arrogant self, talking trash to defenders and bad-mouthing quarterbacks that started in front of him.

The main issue that the league has with Manziel is with both his partying and with how he treats women.

Manziel checked into rehab after his rookie season in the NFL to treat his alcohol addiction. We all hoped that this would get him on the right track, but after checking out and going back to the Browns, videos surfaced of him partying again this season. A couple months before that, he was stopped by the police after getting into an altercation with his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. As recently as January 2016, the Dallas police department decided that they were going to open an investigation on whether Manziel had harassed her at a different time.

Manziel’s agency has dropped him as a client and he seems to be losing all his famous friends. Most teams are not willing to take a chance on him because of how much of a distraction he is.

If he doesn’t change soon, Manziel’s career will be over, and he will go down as another college superstar who couldn’t handle the pressure of the big leagues.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.