Johnny Manziel to stay in 7-on-7 league, says he has no drive to play at a high level

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Johnny Manziel will be suiting up for a 7-on-7 indoor football league next month, but he’s not trying to prove he deserves another chance in the NFL.

In fact, Manziel says he has decided to return to Fan Controlled Football, a small league that he also played in last year, because he knows he’s done playing football seriously and is just trying to have some fun.

“This is a way to go out and compete and have fun on a way smaller scale,” Manziel told ESPN. “I don’t have the drive to play football at a high level anymore. I don’t have a drive to be the best football player anymore that I used to have in my life, and I’m OK with that. I’ve come to terms with what my football career was, and what it is, and now I’m trying to figure out how I can stay entangled in the game, but from a different position.”

After winning the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M, Manziel’s career was a major disappointment: The Browns selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, but he lasted just two years in Cleveland and then had some unsuccessful attempts in the Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football. He says the low-stakes, low-pressure world of Fan Controlled Football is better for him now.

“I had an ample amount of opportunities to put my career on a different path, and for whatever reason it was, whether it was me being young or just not seeing life through the right lens at that point in time, I squandered a good opportunity,” Manziel said. “The more I look back on my life and continue to reflect and try to bury some things and put some things in the past, that’s one thing that I decided to do, was to let [football] go and let that be what it is. Life goes the way it goes sometimes.”

Manziel is only 29 years old, but there will be no NFL comeback attempt.

28 responses to “Johnny Manziel to stay in 7-on-7 league, says he has no drive to play at a high level

  1. It is hard to believe that Manziel is 29 years old.

    In some ways Johnny’s current attitude is understandable and acceptable. He was fortunate to come from a background that allowed him to do things his own way and as he wanted to. He enjoyed what his station in life allowed him to do. He seems to accept that he chose not to put a priority on his football career during that time. That acceptance is much more healthier than wallowing in despair and grief about what could have been.

  2. In order to be “done playing football seriously” you first have to had played “seriously”. What a joke. Biggest draft bust ever, Ryan Leaf has to be pleased he lost his spot

  3. Sounds like he has his head in a better place now. Thing is though, he lost his drive to play football at a high level at pretty much the same time he got his contract (approx 8 million guaranteed).

  4. Loved it when Marvin Lewis suggested Manziel might have a hard time finding a suit at the Big & tall men’s store.

  5. Most everyone is fine with where Manziel is at, right now. Glad he okay with it. Time for all of us to do the same.

  6. It’s interesting to see how college Big Fish QB’s often implode in the NFL. Manziel, Young, Russell and obviously Leaf. All had mental health and/or drug issues, despite being on top of the world in college. At least Manziel seems to be getting his life together.

  7. Looks like he has maintained the same level of motivation from the year Cleveland drafted him.

  8. It actually sounds like he has gone through some therapy and rehab. I think it’s just time to leave the man alone and let him deal with life, like the rest of us. I wish him luck.

  9. What a shockingly self-aware statement from a guy who’s spent the better part of the last 20 years doing nothing but being pushed towards the NFL by literally anyone he came across. Good for him for understanding where his heart really is and being able to follow it towards happiness.

  10. He actually sound refreshingly grounded. A lot of guys have trouble accepting that they couldn’t make it at the highest level- especially when they’ve had nothing but success from third grade through college. If he’s got enough money in the bank that he can just have fun playing football, more power to him.

  11. Surprised nothing was mentioned here about how badly Jerry Jones wanted to draft Manziel.

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