For all the problems Cleveland-for-now quarterback Johnny Manziel has at the moment, one Hall of Famer thinks his girlfriend is near the top of the list.
Manziel was investigated but not charged after an incident with Colleen Crowley last week, and has refused his family’s efforts to check him into a rehab facility.
“Johnny’s in love,” NFL Network personality Deion Sanders told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “And Johnny’s in love with something that’s crippling him right now. I understand it. And it upsets me that grownups don’t understand it. Because he feels as though this game don’t love him, the people in this game don’t love him, so the only thing that he associates with love is that thing that’s really inflicting a lot of pain on him and that’s his girlfriend.”
According to various reports, the two had broken up in December, but got into a violent altercation last weekend in Texas. One police report said Crowley told cops Manziel struck her several times. Manziel has denied that.
“I’m not saying she is the problem. I’m saying their relationship is inflammatory,” Sanders said. “His last two issues have been with her. Take away that and what you got?”
With all due respect to Sanders, take away the girlfriend and you have a player who has made trouble for himself for years. Blaming the girlfriend might be an easy tactic for players, and one that will resonate within the community of the locker room.
And like former teammate Michael Irvin, Sanders thinks Dallas would be good for Manziel, given owner Jerry Jones’ penchant for collecting troubled youth.
“Jerry could help Johnny,” Sanders said. “There’s so many different instances that this has happened, that Jerry has really helped guys. If it wasn’t for Jerry Jones, Dez Bryant probably wouldn’t be in the league. So this has Jerry written all over it, and he has the infrastructure to really help this kid.”
It’s clear that he needs it, whether Dallas is the place to get it or not.