Johnny Manziel, fresh from ten weeks at rehab, issued a public apology to the Cleveland Browns, their fans, and his teammates.
The beleaguered quarterback said in a statement:
I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates, and Browns fans everywhere, for your patience, understanding, and support during my stay at Caron. The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I’ve learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous. I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down. I take full responsibility for my actions and it’s my intention to work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say. I also understand there’s a lot of curiosity about this but anyone who has a friend or family-member that’s been through things like this knows it’s an ongoing process. I’m going to continue to ask folks to try to respect my privacy as I determine to what degree I am comfortable talking about a subject which I consider very personal. Most of you have been considerate about that and I thank you for it. I look forward to seeing my teammates next week and focusing on football and my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be.
Manziel, drafted by the Browns last May, came to Cleveland with questions surrounding his party lifestyle. An alcohol-related arrest at Texas A&M, receiving the boot from Archie Manning’s quarterback camp after late nights prevented Manziel to participate in early-morning practices, and, postdraft, a picture of Manziel in a bathroom with a rolled up $20 bill all foreshadowed his current predicament.
During the season, Manziel’s crew engaged in a late-night fight with an overzealous fan and a Manziel party led to a missed walkthrough and discipline for Manziel and a teammate. Though the dual-threat quarterback showed flashes of his run-pass college self against Buffalo, he generally struggled adapting to the pro game. He passed for just 175 yards, completing 18 of 35 with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Chris Landry, a former scout with the Browns, addressed Manziel’s social life prior to last year’s draft. “While it is okay for a pro athlete to enjoy himself socially,” Landry told Breitbart Sports, “he must be totally committed to be the best quarterback between the ears.”
The Browns hope the former Heisman Trophy-winner can commit to just that this season.