Talk of Manziel’s lifestyle avoids rolled-up bill photo

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The biggest story of a slow month came from the all-that-that-implies image of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel tightly rolling up a dollar in a nightclub bathroom.  The Browns had no comment on the photo at the time, and Manziel’s camp (which had no qualms about calling B.S. on that phony lawsuit filed against Manziel in May) went silent.

Since then, most of the media has tread lightly regarding the image and the possible explanations for it, with the photo rarely if ever mentioned on outlets like ESPN and NFL Network.  Now that the time has come to have access to Manziel, the specific questions raised by the photo have become absorbed into the general concerns relating to Manziel’s lifestyle.

Twice in the last two days, Manziel has met with the media.  On neither day did Manziel address whether the photo is legitimate.  On neither day did Manziel explain why he was tightly rolling up a piece of paper money.  At no point did anyone ask why the large necklace that was outside his T-shirt in other photos from that night had been tucked inside his shirt before he commenced the process of tightly rolling up a bill.

In fact, the transcript generated by the Friday press conference apparently was edited to obscure the fact that Patrick McManamon of actually asked about the rolled-up bill.  The question came after Manziel opened his press conference with this comment:  “[T]o just save you guys a lot of time, Coach Pettine and [G.M] Ray Farmer and I have really talked about a lot of things that have transpired over the course of the offseason.  For me, my main thing is the people in this building — my teammates, the coaching staff and the higher-ups in this organization — we’ve all been on the same page.  We’ve all been good and are very eager to be moving forward.  At the end of the day, I made some rookie mistakes — there are some things I wish I could have gone back and done a little differently — but I’m continuing to move forward and try and represent this organization and this team in a positive manner, in a positive light.”

Then McManamon asked about the rolled-up bill. Said Manziel: “I think I just spoke on that a little bit. I’ve talked about that with Coach Pettine; I’ve talked about it with Ray Farmer and the people that I need to talk about that with. Moving forward, they’re good with everything and I’ve told them everything I need to. Everything’s been good. . . .  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me going out and having a nightlife and having a social life. I am 21 years old, and I do like going out. It was the offseason. It’s free time for us, and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends or go to nightclubs or do things like that, then I think that’s within my rights to be doing that. I think there are other guys throughout the league that are doing that. I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody else, but I think that’s within my rights to be doing that.”

A press conference perhaps isn’t the best way to push Manziel for more details, since it requires at least one of the reporters to be willing to ask questions that may draw the ire of the player, the team, other reporters, bloggers who thrive on members of the media asking stupid questions or saying stupid things, and/or the Twitter.  So when a bunch of reporters in the same room are all thinking the same thing, it’s easy to wait for someone else to ask the awkward, uncomfortable question.  Or, in this case, to ask aggressive follow-up questions when evasive answers are being provided.

The media currently covering the team had another chance to revisit the issue of the rolled-up bill on Saturday, when he addressed the lessons he has learned to date.

“The reason that I’m popular or the reason that people follow me and there’s been such a buzz around me is when I went out on Saturdays at Texas A&M, I played with an extreme amount of passion and I played with my heart on my sleeve, but more than anything, I had fun,” Manziel said.  “I have fun playing this game.  I have fun going out on this field playing football.  It’s what I live for.  It’s what I do, same way off the field.  Whether I’m playing golf, going out having a night life, whatever it is, I have a lot of fun.  That’s what my life is, and luckily for me I’m living out my dream of playing in the NFL having a ton of fun.  My dream has come true, and I finally got some time to get some downtime and celebrate that with my family, with my friends.  This is the greatest life that I could have ever imagined for me, and I’m loving that.

“Will I continue to get better being a professional and learn lessons about life?  Of course, I’m 21 years old.  Age is not an excuse, but I need to mature and I have done some immature things.  Moving forward, I’m going to try and mature and get better and handle myself better as a professional.  That’s really all I can say about that.  My life is incredible.  I’m blessed to be in this position.  I’m going to have fun each and every day, whether it’s practice, whether it’s training camp, whether it’s during the season going out and playing a game which will be even better, or it’s going out in the offseason or playing golf or hanging out with my family.  Life is fun.  Enjoy [it] while it’s here.”

When he finished, there were no questions about the photo.  With each passing press conference, it will be more awkward and more uncomfortable for whoever decides to be the one to bring it up.  At some point, however, someone needs to show him that picture and ask: (1) Is this you?; and (2) If it is, what were you doing?

Maybe those specific questions will be asked by whoever CBS or ESPN or NFL Network sends to Cleveland for a sit-down interview before the team’s Week One visit to Pittsburgh.  Or maybe CBS or ESPN or NFL Network will be told that, without an agreement that those questions won’t be asked, there won’t be an interview.  And maybe whoever agrees not to ask those questions will get the “exclusive” with Manziel.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m. ET:  A prior version of this article claimed that no one had asked the question about the rolled-up dollar bill.  Lindsay Jones of USA Today pointed via Twitter than Manziel was asked about the rolled-up bill on Friday, by Pat McManamon of  As noted above, the transcript generated by the Browns doesn’t reflect that (which may be a story in and of itself), and none of the TV coverage on ESPN or NFL Network has focused on the question or the photo or any of the questions that the photo logically gives rise to.

81 responses to “Talk of Manziel’s lifestyle avoids rolled-up bill photo

  1. Why is there automatically a drug supposition? I hate carrying a wallet, so sometimes I will roll up all my bills and carry them in my sock. Could happen.

  2. Manziel is Hollywood love him or hate him. You ask a wrong question, you would be cut out of the loop and no more Manziel coverage access for you which results in no article for your company and thats bad. Ok got it. NFL needs to do a random drug test and there is evidence why. Of course i want to see him play but i hate it when privileged kids get away with what average Joes like me never would.

  3. How many of you would sacrifice your team’s winning season this year if it insured this dumpster fire, we’re all dying to see, turned out to be as glorious as we think it is? Thumbs up yes, down for no

  4. I think Johnny knows that he’s just another mediocre quarterback without all the extracurricular activities. If he wants to maintain his marketability, he has to continue making these “rookie mistakes.”

  5. Vegas = red flag; rolled up $20 in bathroom = red flag; powder residue on bathroom counter = red flag; partying with Bieber = black flag.

    If the NFL doesn’t test Manziel it’s only because they don’t want to know the results.

  6. Only a matter of time with this kid. He has tons of talent, but many talented players have killed their careers with Risky off field behaviors. Hopefully he can find his way through his youth.

  7. Can we stop scrutinizing this guy like he’s the president? It’s his life. This society puts celebrities on a major pedestal.

  8. Give the Kid a break. They didn’t have cell phones when Namath, Montana, McMahon, Irvin, or anyone else who was out back in the day.

  9. Maybe he was using the rolled up bill as a mini telescope so he could really focus on his playbook.

  10. I love this guy. We all roll dollars like that. Can’t make it stick.

    Michael Irvin

  11. Wow @ all those words in the post. What did the Browns do in camp today? Oh, nevermind we have gossip to discuss!

  12. It is about time someone brought up the point that the networks who are partnered with the NFL went out of there way to avoid discussing this particular photo. Anything else happens in the slow off season and they talk about it endlessly. ESPN went far out of it’s way not to discuss or directly describe the photo. If not for PFT, I would never have seen it. Kudos to you for sticking to what got your site noticed in the first place and not folding when you became part of the NBC family. Personally, I think that suspending players for marijuana use is ridiculous. But, having major new outlets ignore a story they would normally cover to death is worrisome.

  13. I watched some of the live feed from Browns camp. True to form, it was all about Johnny. and ESPN will fold if Johnny plays the sot he has earned. I can’t wait to see the Johnny cam footage after each game.

    Oh, they wouldn’t dare ask about the snorting tool. They’d get their press credentials promptly snatched.

  14. All he had to say was “I asked for a straw at the bar, but they didn’t have any.”

  15. Eh, so he went to Vegas to “blow” off a little steam… He’s probably still getting over the fact that he didn’t even “sniff” the top 10 in the draft. Surely he likes his whiskey “coke”. It’s all good, Johnny Football – live it up playa, all you gotta do is beat out Hoyer, and nobody will care.

  16. Still far more talk of a back-up QB’s lifestyle than a running back who knocks out his fiance’ and drags her around… priorities please

  17. It looks like links to videos are not allowed. If you check out the NFLN video on the site entitled “Johnny Manziel: I made rookie mistakes.” its at the 1:08 mark. Its the first question asked by a reporter and he basically defers to his earlier blanket statement about mistakes.

  18. Nothing to see here, sources report Manizel is so “money” that he uses rolled up $100 bills for Q-tips. He was simply cleaning the wax out of his ears before going back out to see the bevy of beauties hounding him at the club.

  19. My question wouldn’t be to Manziel, it’d be to ownership or the GM –

    “After the rolled up bill photo went public, did you compel Johnny Manziel to take an immediate drug test? If not, why not?”

    How the Browns could fail to do that when they’ve invested millions in this guy is insane.

  20. Browns are the NFL soap opera. Never a dull moment for a team that blows. There’s always a QB controversy, head coach and front office firings, front office scandals, owner scandals, media cover ups.

    Maybe if these morons would draft better players there wouldn’t be the constant side show that is the Factory of Horribleness

  21. Sept 7: First road game in PITT, I really hope some enterprising Steeler fan has the creativity to bring into the game a GIANT rolled up $20 bill and get on camera.
    I know the NFL thought police won’t show it live, but it’d be cool to hear back from PITT fans on here if they see that.
    Then we can do it at every CLE road game..
    Hooray for us1

    Because as much as we all love to love our own players, we LOVE to hate entitled little Brats who haven’t the remotest idea of how good they have it, but for being born with Skillz and into MONEYY…
    The Justin Beiber of the NFL

  22. Maybe it’s troubling that certain media is reluctant to ask the question. But let’s stop kidding ourselves that there is a legitimate question here. We KNOW what he was doing with the rolled-up bill, and we also know that he’s never going to admit that he was in the bathroom snorting blow. Our curiosity is only about what kind of deceitful explanation he would give if he ever felt pressured enough to give one.

  23. I mean, as a coach or exec with that team don’t you essentially tell him he better stay in on weekends for the time being if he knows what’s good for him? Unreal.

  24. I want to see this guy fail. You can call me a hater if you want but the reason I want to see him fail is so it will be an example for others. I’d hate to see him have success and kids think that they too can live the way he does and succeed. How hard is it to figure out he’s a drug addict? There’s only one reason for a rolled up bill. Also, anyone remember the pic of him with the Heisman and a joint? I hope he gets saved but if he doesn’t I hope his career turns into a gigantic dumpster.

  25. What’s laughable is the constant talks with him that Pettine, Farmer, and Haslem are having. These 3 idiots knew exactly what they were getting when they drafted him. You have no one else but yourselves to blame. If you couldn’t handle the Circus then you never should have drafted him.

    If you can’t handle the heat don’t go by the fire. This is why the Browns are awful every year. They make dumb decisions

  26. He obviously did it. He never denied it and let’s be real, there’s nothing else he could have done with a rolled-up dollar bill in a hotel bathroom. I’m just wondering how someone managed to sneak in a photo of him rolling up a dollar bill but not actually snorting.

  27. This will be short lived for the Browns. They obviously can’t handle him or what he brings to the table.

    It’s a bad deal for him and a dumb decision by the Browns to Draft him. Because the first INT he throws idiot Browns fans will boo him out of the stadium.

    On top of that the Browns WRs are a joke. Save Johnny til next year or do yourselves and Johnny a favor and trade him to a team that can handle the spotlight

  28. C’mon now, y’all can’t tarnish the Golden Boy!! Feel for ya, Cleveland. You do not deserve this circus.

  29. It has been strongly suggested that Justin Bieber’s behavior is the product of certain recreational substances. Does Johnny Football have a drug problem? The rolled up note should be a big warning sign to get this player drug tested regularly.

  30. If this guy was an undrafted pick he would have already been cut, and his possible NFL career would be over. Even the press is playing double-standards here, by not pressing the team or player more on this single issue. It also shows what a joke the NFL drug testing program is, as there should be a clause in there for immediate testing if significant concerns should arise at any time in regards to a players possible drug use. Can’t wait for the Browns and JM to reap the rewards of their holier than thou attitudes.

  31. People go to Vegas to party. People like to stay up all day and night in Vegas. People snort powdered caffeine in Vegas. Last time I checked, caffeine was not on the NFL’s banned substance list. But hanging out with Beiber was totally stupid!

  32. The necklace being tucked in, is significant because if he indeed was snorting, the necklace would have been in the way , laying in a pile of what what!!! Also, if a guy, say a QB , and athlete, does a number of lines of Coke on Friday night, the half life or duration coke would stay in a system would be 72 hours. That would be hair or kbid sample. Urine?? That would be gone in 48-60 hours… So if you are wanting him tested, u suggest Saturday or Sunday AM. If they wait any longer , it will more that likely be out of his system. It is not like Mary Jane, where it sticks to your fat cells and can remain in your system for 3-4 weeks!

  33. Stop harassing Johnny, media vultures, and let him do his maybe federal felonies in peace! Sheesh.

  34. The media will push Manziel, but they will cower in the face of real wrongdoing to protect Manziel, much like they did with Favre when he was philandering with half of the single female population in Wisconsin and New York. The unseemly stuff got in the way of a played out story, (“He’s such a great guy and loves the game. And his wife is a cancer survivor!!”). I call it, “The Lance Armstrong Effect” when certain people are given free passes for whatever reason, despite evidence that the hero doesn’t act so hero like.

    Kudos to Florio for pointing it out and not being a coward.

  35. I bet if it was Cam Newton in Vegas….with a rolled up $20 bill, espn would have the story scrolling at the bottom of the screen…constantly!!

  36. Jul 26, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
    I used to roll my money and put it in my sock too…when I was in 3rd grade.

    Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands
    Jul 26, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
    Maybe he wasn’t doing blow. Maybe he’s just allergic to mohair.

    Now THAT’S funny right there!

  37. Holy Cow! Are these stories of self-entitled, prima donna, overpaid, immature, uneducated professional goofball players ever going to come to an end??? Nope. Not in our lifetime.

  38. I am so disappointed that Dallas did not draft this guy. He is wasting all these great antics playing for a team like the Browns. Everything would gave been magnified in Dallas and it would have been great to watch it unfold.

  39. Everyone knows the only reason to do that is to snort coke. The nfl is hoping it goes away like ray rice knocking out his apologetic wife.

  40. Every poster here says, “I want JFF to fail so bad. Look at him. He’s sooo bad. He makes millions while I have my mundane life. When he succeeds they will all say “See I told you so” and if he fails they will say “See I told you so” Life goes on…..

  41. johnny your well on your way to a long, successful and legendary career


    Todd Marinovich
    Ryan Leaf
    Andre Ware
    Jamarcus Russell

    P.S. your young…live it up!

  42. It’s a lose-lose for the Browns to have drug tested him after the photo.

    If he tests negative, there’s still suspicion and assumption that he just hasn’t snorted anything in the last 24 hrs.

    If he test positive, they just opened a huge can of worms.

  43. ESPN asked the question, but may sit on airing it until something else happens with Manziel. I’m sure whether and when to air it will be a hot discussion behind the scenes at the sports network.

  44. Must be nice to be the NFL media darling. Luck or Johnny could lob a kitten into a burning house and you’d not hear a single word about it.

    Cam could get a parking ticket and be a splash screen at

  45. And this is exactly why the head of PR for the Browns resigned a few weeks ago. Nobody in their right mind wants any part of that job right now.

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