Johnny Football took a small step toward becoming Johnny Manziel on Wednesday.
The former Heisman Trophy-winner announced the retirement of the “money” hand gesture he had made famous on the field and off of it. “The money sign will not be back,” he told the media. “I will not be making it.”
The humbler Manziel addressed reporters for the first time during Cleveland Browns organized team activities (OTA). The remarks follow a ten-week stay in a rehabilitation facility and a disastrous rookie campaign that witnessed the first-round pick throw two picks and pass for just 175 yards.
Manziel made the wrong kind of headlines subsequent to last year’s draft. A picture showed him in a bathroom with a rolled up $20 bill. His entourage brawled with a late-night autograph seeker. He threw a party that result in him and a teammate’s tardiness to a team walk-through. Just days later, over the New Year’s holiday, pictures emerged of Manziel drinking straight from a champagne bottle in Las Vegas.
“I think it just overtook who I was as a person, too,” Manziel told reporters in Berea, Ohio. “I think at times Johnny Football probably took over me a little bit, too, and I bought into that.”