Feb. 12 (UPI) — Former first round NFL Draft pick Johnny Manziel said Monday that he has been diagnosed as bipolar, but he is still determined on making an NFL comeback.
Manziel, 25, made the comments in an interview with Good Morning America. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback hasn’t taken a regular season snap in the NFL since Dec. 27, 2015.
He owns a career quarterback rating of 74.4. Manziel completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in 15 games. He owns a 2-6 record as a starter.
In his interview, Manziel opened up about his battles with alcohol.
“I had a sense of entitlement about what I had accomplished at the age,” Manziel said on ABC.
“For a while I got so ingrained, caring only about what Johnny wanted, only caring what mattered to me, what made me happy. When I look back at it now, even when I thought I was doing what I wanted, I was miserable.”
He also called what he was doing with his life “meaningless, pointless and selfish.” Bad decisions led him out of the league and onto the couch, where Manziel said he is watching other guys doing what he wants to do.
“…and I am sitting on a couch being a loser,” the quarterback told ABC.
Manziel starred at Texas A&M before reaching the pro ranks. He was the first player to win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, when he did so in 2012 with the Aggies.
Before receiving the award in December of 2012, Manziel was arrested on campus by police in June and charged with carrying fake identification and fighting. He led the Aggies to a Cotton Bowl victory in January of 2013 before becoming the focus of an NCAA investigation regarding signing memorabilia in exchange for cash. Manziel was later suspended for the first half of the Aggies’ 2013 season-opener after the investigation.
He was the No. 22 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft in May of 2014.
Then came more struggles on and off of the field. Manziel was fined after showing up late to a team meeting. Photos and videos continued to emerge of Manziel partying around the country. He was also involved in an altercation inside of a Cleveland apartment building.
Manziel entered rehab following the 2014 season. Then in October of 2015, Manziel was pulled over in Avon, Ohio, after police were dispatched in reference to a reckless driver and reports of a domestic altercation involving Manziel. He admitted to drinking and driving during the incident, according to police.
In January of 2016, Manziel missed a treatment with the Browns. In February, the Browns released a statement about their plans to move on from Manziel.
Manziel’s domestic violence case was referred to a grand jury in February of 2016. His ex-girlfriend alleged that Manziel beat her and threatened to kill her and himself, before kidnapping her and dragging her by her hair.
Later that February, Manziel’s father Paul told the Dallas Morning News that his son wouldn’t “live to see his 24th birthday” if he didn’t get help.
“I was self-medicating with alcohol,” Manziel told ABC. “That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression. “When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid…sense of euphoria that is over you, is all gone.”
He told ABC that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago.
The Browns waived Manziel in March of 2016.
A Dallas grand jury indicted the quarterback on April 26, 2016. He eventually reached an agreement to dismiss the charges, requiring him to complete anger management class, attend a domestic violence impact panel and participate in the NFL’s substance abuse program or a similar program. The misdemeanor charge carried a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Manziel was suspended in June of 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Since his departure from the NFL, Manziel became engaged to girlfriend Bre Tiesi and has been seen working out with NFL stars.
In January, Manziel expressed interest in joining the reemerging XFL. But XFL commissioner Vince McMahon said that athletes would not be welcomed in the league if they have a criminal record.
Manziel has been in talks with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats regarding a CFL contract, but has yet to officially sign on with the team.
He said he is no longer drinking alcohol.
“Just want to say thank you,” Manziel wrote on Instagram Monday. “To all the people who have stuck by me thru my worst. I won’t stop until I make it back. I’m humbled and hungrier than ever before!”
He also added a note on Twitter.
“At the end of the day Athletes are Human beings too,” Manziel tweeted Monday. “You can get caught up in the fame, the life, but when it’s all said and done we’re the exact same…FAR FROM PERFECT. God bless you all and thank you for hearing my story.”