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.