Manziel works the media this time around, but will it work for him?

AP

Four years ago, as Johnny Manziel entered the draft, he created a distinct “all about football” vibe, shunning all media requests as he focused on preparing for life in the NFL. Then, after he was drafted, he was all about everything but football.

Now, as he tries to get back into the NFL, Manziel has embraced the media, making himself available and visible as he apparently hopes that, by being around long enough and often enough, someone will finally decide to give him his next (last) shot in the NFL. The media gladly is embracing Manziel, too. Even though he’s a guy who hasn’t been on an NFL roster (not even the 90-man offseason version) in more than two full years, the media can’t get enough of him.

Most recently, Manziel appeared on ESPN with Scott Van Pelt, sharing the story of how Manziel’s life finally turned around.

“I got so low to the point where I questioned what I was doing and if my life was probably really worth living to a point anymore and got really down and really had to sit and reflect and look on what I was doing every day,” Manziel said. “My mom came to me one day and asked me — she didn’t really ask, she was just in tears — ‘What are you doing with your life? Why do I have to go around and get this secondhand of words and conversations of the negative things you’re doing around the world that’s coming back to me?’ And I saw how bad that it broke her heart, and it sucked. And it really hit home.”

We all love a story of redemption, and maybe that’s why the media continues to provide the platform to a player no one in the NFL seems to actually want. The media collectively knows that having Manziel in the NFL is good for the media’s business, as the hero-turned-antihero-turned-hero tries to turn his football career into something more than it ever was.

The question remains whether any NFL team will ever trust him again. He duped the Browns in 2014, and he duped them again in 2015. While substance abuse and/or alcohol use caused his career to go off the rails, his wing-it work ethic also contributed to his on-field failures.

Who, given his history, would make Manziel a starting quarterback? Who would even put him on a depth chart? Whatever help he could provide in practice (at this point who knows?) would be offset by the intense spotlight that, four years after avoiding it, he now fully embraces.

His next chance to get someone to take a chance on him comes in nine days, when he makes his on-field debut in the Spring League. If that doesn’t work, the CFL provides his next chance to secure his NFL last chance. If/when he shows that he can perform at a high level, maybe someone will decide to roll the dice.

But it won’t be easy — especially since anyone who signs him necessarily will be welcoming not only the possibility of another Manziel meltdown but also the non-stop attention and scrutiny that goes along with it.

That said, the redemption angle carries plenty of weight. Which is ultimately why this article was written. And which is ultimately why you’ve read it.

19 responses to “Manziel works the media this time around, but will it work for him?

  1. .
    Some team with a strong coach and regimen could bring him to camp with no guarantees and see how he works out. The Patriots, Texans and Saints come to mind.
    .

  2. So teams are willing to give a chance (or at least consider it) to a guy who hit his girlfriend so hard that he damaged her eardrum, has admitted to using hard drugs and was lazy and uncommitted to his team. Good thing he didn’t do something serious, like kneel during the anthem!

  3. lewsblues says:
    March 29, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Did he address the “problems” with his girlfriend? How did those events resolve?
    ————————

    He got married.

  4. Dan Muston says:
    March 29, 2018 at 8:31 am
    I feel so sorry for his parents.
    —————————————————
    Me too, maybe. Did they miss opportunities to stop this by babying him and making him feel like he can do whatever he wants? I don’t know the answer but I know there are some lousy parents out there. Maybe they did all they can and were great parents? Who knows?

  5. This Manziel talk is for nothing, have people and the league forgotten, Johnny has some suspension time to serve out before he can enter.

  6. Mike Florio says:

    The media collectively knows that having Manziel in the NFL is good for the media’s business, as the hero-turned-antihero-turned-hero tries to turn his football career into something more than it ever was.

    ——————————————————————

    Sorry Mike, we love you but that statement’s just wrong on so many levels.

    * Another year of non-stop Manziel drooling is not in the media’s best interest unless they intend to emulate TMZ.
    * Manziel was never a hero in the NFL, not even close.
    * Later we never thought of him as an “anti-hero”, just a drugged out bum who ruined a billion dollar sports franchise.
    * He hasn’t miraculously turned back into the hero that he never was.
    * I would never call that disaster he put the Cleveland Browns through a career.
    * I’m not even sure the premise of the fans wishing him success now is even true.

    Manziel has a long way to go before he has proved anything at all.
    If he doesn’t screw up and fall off the wagon for two to three years I’ll cut him some slack then.

  7. I’m rooting for Manziel but media junkets are not going to cut it. He has to play football. And the scrimmages in the Spring league are not going to mean a hill of beans. Go up to the CFL and play your best football for 2 years and earn your way back to the NFL. Fooling yourself that an interview is going to cut it, I think is delusional. Johnny Football didn’t just behave badly while in the NFL, he also played badly. And as Kaepernick proved, the NFL will tolerate a lot if you can play well. But, once your play suffers they won’t tolerate anything.

  8. I can’t see anyone in the NFL giving him a chance. He’s going to have to go to the CFL to prove he can play and not act like a knucklehead. Maybe then some team will give him a chance but if he ever does sign an NFL contract expect it to be team-friendly with lots of behavior clauses and no consequences for cutting him at any time.

    When I see stories about him I can’t help but think about all the times he exhibited that all he cared about was partying. Why the change now? Maybe he needs money which means as soon as he gets that money it’ll be the same thing all over again. He’s going to have to prove he has changed instead of just talking about it. He will say anything right now because he’s desperate for a job (and probably money). Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  9. * Another year of non-stop Manziel drooling is not in the media’s best interest unless they intend to emulate TMZ.

    (Newsflash, to the extent it will serve their click data and thus, ad revenue…they DO seek to do so! Extra Newsflash, it WORKS! Here I am, here YOU are, here WE ALL are! Good grief, just go to Breitbart already. Oh wait N/m…they died off quicker than Manziel’s time in Cleveland smh)

    * Manziel was never a hero in the NFL, not even close.

    (Did Florio ever specify “in the NFL”?? No, you injected that caveat out of thin air all on your lonesome in order to give you more imaginary fuel and fodder with which to grind your hella weak axe. Johnny won a Heisman Trophy sucker…he’s damn sure a hero in Aggieland. They STILL come out in droves to his autograph signings fool. *note to all who think he’s truly hard up for money. Further note in that regard, he comes from money, his parents are loaded…derrrp*)

    * Later we never thought of him as an “anti-hero”, just a drugged out bum who ruined a billion dollar sports franchise.

    (A. Speak for yourself B. Yeah, JM totes ruined the Browns…like they needed help!? Get a grip on your ostentatious hyperbole. Rein that bs in now.)

    * He hasn’t miraculously turned back into the hero that he never was.

    (Dumb, petty, no retort required. It’s a PROSPECTIVE statement. Big word, I know, I know…reading comprehension clearly ain’t your strong suit!)

    * I would never call that disaster he put the Cleveland Browns through a career.

    (He got paid…how’d your sports dreams work out for ya?)

    * I’m not even sure the premise of the fans wishing him success now is even true.

    (Read the comments, peep the likes, proof is in the pudding… we’re not all salty haters like you, clown. When the yea gets spilled, cats like you get lost in the sauce. I ride my own wave the whole time watching from afar, staying on my plane, on my square, minding my own business and judging myself before I judge the next person. #TheDifference)

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