First, after the initial incident report out of Fort Worth, the Cleveland Browns announced they would be parting ways with the former Texas A&M star, releasing a statement implying they would release Manziel in March.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” Browns vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said in a strongly worded statement that unofficially ended Manziel’s tumultuous two-year stint with the Browns. “Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization.”
Then, the Fort Worth police released their report that stated Manziel physically and verbally abused ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. No charges were filed by the police and Manziel denied the claims in a phone call with TMZ. However, despite his denial of the incident, the allegation of domestic abuse seemed to be enough to elicit strong responses from two of the people who were still in his corner publicly — his dad and his agent — and scare away one of the few possible suitors.
Per Adam Schefter, Johnny Manziel’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, made the decision to part ways with the troubled NFL star Friday. Burkhardt, who had been the soon-to-be former Cleveland Browns quarterback’s agent since he entered the league, released the following statement:
Manziel’s father, Paul Manziel, also spoke with the media, issuing the following statement to The Dallas Morning-News:
“I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday”
And finally, an anonymous “high-ranking Cowboys source” spoke with WFAA after the police report was released, telling Mike Leslie Friday:
The same source had said earlier in the week that he doubted Dallas would pursue Manziel once he became available, as the Browns are expected to release the second-year player in March. But once the new allegations came to light, the source says Dallas will not pursue Manziel in free agency.
Another NFL quarterback whose career was derailed and eventually led to prison, Ryan Leaf, had this to say on Dallas ESPN radio station 103.3 FM:
The issue at hand no longer seems to be whether or not Manziel has a problem — the constant justification for the quarterback’s behavior has relied on his age and sudden jump into the spotlight. But the time for justification seems to have long passed those closest to him, and if the quarterback hopes to play again in the league, or lead a full life, the issue becomes whether or not Manziel is willing to make the necessary changes. His father reports that Manziel denied reentering rehab twice this week, against his parents’ wishes. Regardless of the lack of filed charges, a report filled with domestic abuse issues to go along with noted public alcohol use is a bad look for a man that will be trying to secure a job in a month’s time in one of the most transparent and brand-aware industries in the United States.
Although Manziel’s career is not beyond saving, it is certainly reaching a point of no return. Whether or not it passes that point — which seems to be approaching more rapidly with each misstep — is up to him.