Manziel with the Cleveland Browns in 2015
|No. 2 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
December 6, 1992 |
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Kerrville (TX) Tivy|
|NFL Draft:||2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Player stats at CFL.ca|
Johnathan Paul Manziel (// man-ZEL; born December 6, 1992) is an American professional Canadian football quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played two seasons with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL).
Manziel was nationally recruited out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback, and he debuted for the Texas A&M Aggies as a redshirt freshman in Kevin Sumlin's Air Raid offense during A&M's first season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2012. He broke numerous NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records, which included becoming the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. At the end of the regular season, he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Manziel capitalized on his redshirt freshman season by leading Texas A&M to a 41–13 victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Manziel was drafted by the Browns as the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Despite some success, he struggled with consistency and his tenure was overshadowed by off-field controversies. He was released by the Browns after the end of the 2015 season. Following further controversies during the 2016 offseason, Manziel was unable to be signed by another team before the start of the season and returned to Texas A&M as a student.
TexAgs users tagged Manziel with the nickname "Johnny Football" during Manziel's sophomore high school football season in Texas. The nickname followed him to Texas A&M University. Manziel applied for and was granted a registered trademark for the nickname in 2013.
Manziel was born in Tyler, Texas, on December 6, 1992, to Michelle (née Liberato) and Paul Manziel. He has a younger sister named Meri. Manziel's great-great-grandfather Joseph immigrated to the United States in 1883 from the Mount Lebanon region of Syria in what is now Lebanon. He is of Italian descent on his maternal side. His family became wealthy through the Texas petroleum industry.
Manziel grew up playing a variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and golf. At Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, he focused on baseball and football. However, in football, sportswriters, coaches, and parents said he "achieved folk hero status" and was compared to quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Michael Vick, and Drew Brees.
At Tivy High School, Manziel played football for four years, beginning with the freshman team in his first year. By the end of his first season, he played with the varsity team as a receiver. He began his sophomore year primarily as a receiver, but started the fourth game at quarterback. He shared that position for the remainder of the season, finishing with 1,164 yards passing, 806 rushing and 408 receiving for a combined 28 touchdowns. His junior year was his first as starting quarterback, and he completed that season with 2,903 passing yards, 1,544 rushing yards, 152 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns. That year, he was voted All-San Antonio Area Offensive Player of the Year as well as District 27-4A MVP.
During Manziel's senior season, he compiled 228-of-347 (65.7%) passing for 3,609 yards with 45 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also had 170 carries for 1,674 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had one touchdown reception and returned a kickoff for a touchdown for a combined 77 touchdowns. That year, he was honored as District 28-4A MVP (unanimous selection), Class 4A First Team All-State (AP), San Antonio Express-News Offensive Player of the Year (second year in a row), the Associated Press Sports Editors Texas Player of the Year, Sub-5A First Team All-Area (SA Express-News), No. 1 QB in Texas by Dave Campbell's Texas Football, DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region and Super-Prep All-Region.
For Manziel's three years as a starter, he completed 520-of-819 passes (63.5%) for 7,626 yards and 76 touchdowns, rushed 531 times for 4,045 yards and 77 touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 582 yards and another five touchdowns. He was the only quarterback in America named as a Parade All-American his senior year, and he was also named The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Athlete of the Year in football. He won the Mr. Texas Football award in 2010.
Manziel was highly recruited out of high school; in addition to Texas A&M, he received offers from Baylor, Colorado State, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Oregon, Rice, Stanford, Tulsa, and Wyoming. Although he grew up a Texas Longhorns fan, the University of Texas did not recruit him. Although it was rumored that Texas wanted Manziel at defensive back, Texas coach Mack Brown said the rumor was not true. Though Manziel originally committed to play for Oregon, he later changed his commitment to the Aggies, thanks to the influence of then-quarterbacks coach Tom Rossley.
Manziel was named to the NUC All World Game (started by David Schuman and National Underclassmen Combine) in 2010 where he rushed for over 100 yards and threw for over 200. It was the first time Manziel dominated on a national stage. He played in the game as a teammate with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Kerrville, Texas||Tivy HS||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||4.7||Feb 2, 2011|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 78|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 45 (QB); 31 (school) Rivals: 97 (QB); 27 (school) ESPN: 78 (QB)|
Texas A&M faced uncertainty at the quarterback position when Ryan Tannehill left for the National Football League after the 2011 season. Manziel performed well during spring ball and fall practices and won the starting job over Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel before the season began. His first game was supposed to be against Louisiana Tech in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 30, 2012, but the game was postponed until October 13 due to Hurricane Isaac hitting the Louisiana coast two days prior to game time. Consequently, Manziel's college football debut was played as a redshirt freshman against the Florida Gators before a home crowd at Kyle Field.
Although Manziel began the season in relative obscurity, his play against Arkansas in which he broke Archie Manning's 43-year-old total offense record gained him some attention. Manziel produced 557 yards of total offense, breaking Manning's record of 540. Two games later, Manziel surpassed his own total offense record against #24 Louisiana Tech by achieving 576 yards of total offense, becoming the first player in SEC history to have two 500+ total offense games in one season. After Texas A&M's blowout of Auburn in the eighth game of the season, in which Manziel accounted for 3 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns through only the first half plus one series in the second, Manziel began showing up in national Heisman Watch lists.
Manziel was launched into the national scene after he led Texas A&M to a 29–24 victory over #1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In that game, Manziel accounted for 345 of A&M's 418 yards of offense, including two passing touchdowns. In the following days, Manziel became the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy in most national watch lists and polls due to his performance during the game combined with other Heisman frontrunners faltering.
On November 24, during the game against the Missouri Tigers before a home crowd, Manziel left the game with an apparent knee injury late in the first quarter. He returned to the field for the next series of downs wearing a knee brace and finished the game with 439 yards of total offense, including 3 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns. During the game, he broke the single season record for offensive production in the SEC with 4,600 yards, surpassing Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, notable recent Heisman Trophy winners. He also became the first freshman and only the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3000 and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, reaching that mark two games earlier than any other player. He won the SEC Freshman of the Year Award and College Football Performance National Freshman of the Year Award. Manziel won the Davey O'Brien Award on December 6 and the Heisman Trophy on December 8, making him the first freshman ever to win either award.
Texas A&M started the 2013 season with a No. 6 ranking in the Coaches Poll. Prior to the season, some journalists argued that Manziel could suffer a sophomore slump, while others felt that he would continue to have success. Manziel's eligibility for the 2013 season was under question after reports surfaced that he had signed autographs for money in January 2013. On August 28, 2013, the NCAA reached an agreement with Texas A&M to suspend Manziel for the first half of the team's game against Rice (the first game of the season), after acknowledging that Manziel did not receive any money for the autographs.
In the game against #1 Alabama, Manziel threw for a school record of 464 yards and 5 touchdowns in the 49–42 loss. His primary target during the game was Mike Evans, who compiled 7 receptions for a school record of 279 yards. In the 51–41 win over Mississippi State, Manziel tied his single-game career-high five touchdowns, while also throwing for 446 yards but with 3 interceptions. He was fifth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2013.
As a Texas Rangers fan growing up, Manziel was a middle infielder at Tivy High School before foregoing his baseball career in favor of football. He played baseball through his junior year, but he skipped out on his senior season so he could graduate early and focus on preparing for his freshman football season at Texas A&M. Manziel's passion for the game of baseball, however, did not diminish after high school. He briefly discussed the possibility of playing collegiate ball with Texas A&M's baseball coaches, but that never came to fruition once he won the starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||Wonderlic|
|5 ft 11 3⁄4 in
|31 3⁄8 in
|4.65 s||1.63 s||2.72 s||4.03 s||6.75 s||32 in
|9 ft 5 in
|All values from the NFL Combine|
In January 2014, Manziel announced that he would forgo his junior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. He was projected to be a first-round pick, and as of January 15, 2014, his draft stock was reported to be rising by a consensus of experts who had him pegged as a top-5 pick. Manziel elected to throw during Texas A&M's Pro Day on March 27, 2014, instead of during the NFL Combine. During his pro day, Manziel completed 64 of 66 passes to six different receivers. His pro day performance was well received by sports journalists.
Prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel became one of the most polarizing athletes in pre-draft history, with scouting opinions varying from "undraftable" to "rare competitor". Former NFL head coach Barry Switzer took it to a personal level, criticizing Manziel, saying: "I don’t like his antics. I think he's an arrogant little prick. I’ve said that and I’ll say it again."
On draft day, 21 teams, including the Cleveland Browns, passed over Manziel. While Manziel was waiting to get drafted, he texted then-Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains that he wants to "wreck the league" in Cleveland. Loggains forwarded the text to head coach Mike Pettine, who made the decision to trade up to draft Manziel. The Browns drafted him at the 22nd overall pick.
On August 22, 2014, Manziel was fined $12,000 by the NFL for a hand gesture (flipping the bird) that he made in a preseason loss to the Washington Redskins. Fellow quarterback Brian Hoyer was named the starter over Manziel for the opening regular-season game.
On November 30, 2014, Manziel entered the game against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter after an ineffective performance by starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. Manziel went 5 of 8 for 63 yards, and scored his first NFL touchdown on a 10-yard rush in the fourth quarter. The Browns lost 26–10.
Manziel made his first NFL start in the Browns' Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Manziel completed 10 of 18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions for a 27.3 passer rating while being sacked three times. The Browns lost 30–0.
Manziel completed three of eight passes in his second career start against the Carolina Panthers on December 21, 2014. He left the game with a hamstring injury with less than two minutes remaining in the first half and was replaced by Hoyer. The Browns went on to lose 17–13.
Overall, Manziel completed 18 of 35 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions, and rushed nine times for 29 yards and one touchdown. Manziel's work ethic and commitment were questioned by over 20 sources within the Cleveland Browns. An anonymous player even called Manziel's rookie season a "100 percent joke." Others within the organization were hopeful about Manziel's future, including cornerback Joe Haden.
On August 27, Manziel was ruled out for the rest of the preseason with recurring pain in his right elbow. Manziel had been making noticeable improvement in his play.
On September 13, Manziel was brought into the game against the New York Jets after starting QB Josh McCown was injured in the first half. Manziel scored his first career passing touchdown with a 54-yard pass to WR Travis Benjamin. However, Manziel committed three turnovers in the second half (two of them being fumbles) as the Jets won 31–10. Manziel started the Week 2 game against 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. He completed 8 of 15 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns to Travis Benjamin in the 28–14 win.
Following McCown's recovery, Manziel did not take the field again until McCown suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of a Week 7 game against the St. Louis Rams. Manziel completed 4 of 5 passes for 27 yards in a 24–6 loss. In a Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, Manziel again took the field in the fourth quarter after McCown suffered another injury. Manziel made his second start of the season in Week 9, completing 15 of 33 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown in a 31–10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 10, Manziel had his statistically best game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 33 of 45 passes for 372 yards and one touchdown. Despite his efforts, however, the Browns lost 30–9.
Manziel was announced as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season on November 17. However, Manziel was demoted to third-string quarterback behind McCown and Austin Davis a week later after videos surfaced of him partying in Texas over the bye week. As a result, Manziel remained benched in favor of Davis when McCown suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in the subsequent game against the Baltimore Ravens. Manziel was promoted to starter again after the Bengals defeated the Davis-led Browns 37–3. Despite throwing a maligned interception in his return performance, Manziel completed 21 of 31 passes for 270 yards and one touchdown in a 24–10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, ending the Browns' seven-game losing streak.
Manziel sat out the last game of the 2015 season with a concussion, with reports circulating that he was in Las Vegas instead of in Cleveland with the team that weekend. The team confirmed that Manziel did miss a scheduled check-in on the morning of the last game of the season. The Browns released him on March 11, 2016.
Manziel had a workout in Buffalo, New York with the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, during which he was "put through a series of physical and medical tests" from August 23 to 24, 2017. He was not signed by the Tiger-Cats, who hold Manziel's CFL rights. On September 2, Manziel's representatives requested a contract offer from the Tiger-Cats. According to CFL rules, the Tiger-Cats then had 10 days to offer Manziel a contract, trade his rights or relinquish his rights. However, the CFL later extended the 10-day window so that the league could "facilitate a process of evaluation for the player." Manziel also had a meeting with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie in September. On September 27, the CFL announced that Manziel would not be allowed to sign with any CFL team for the 2017 season but would be able to sign with a team for the 2018 season if Manziel meets "certain conditions".
On December 28, 2017, the CFL approved Manziel to play in the league. The Tiger-Cats had until January 7 to offer Manziel a contract or trade his rights. If neither was done, the team would lose his rights. On January 7, the team confirmed that they had made Manziel an offer. Not long after Manziel's agent, Eric Burkhardt, responded to the Tiger-Cats offer stating that Hamilton has until January 31, 2018 to offer his client a "fair deal". Failure to do so will result in Manziel turning his attention to "several other professional options". Burkhardt is insisting that Manziel be paid in the same realm as Tiger-Cats' quarterback Zach Collaros was last season; i.e., something in the range of $500,000 to $550,000. The Tiger-Cats released a statement on February 14 implying they had broken off negotiations with Manziel. The same day, he agreed to play in The Spring League, a non-paying developmental league, for the 2018 season. He was the quarterback at Texas A&M's 2018 pro day, throwing passes to potential 2018 NFL Draft prospects in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams and the CFL. After the session, Manziel reiterated that his primary goal was to play in the NFL in 2018, but if that did not occur he would play in the CFL. On May 19, 2018, Manziel and the Tiger-Cats announced that they had agreed to a two-year contract.
On June 29, 2012—before he was chosen as Texas A&M's starting quarterback and before his first college game—Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors—disorderly conduct, failure to produce identification, and possession of a fictitious driver's license. These charges stemmed from a late-night fight in College Station, Texas. In July 2013, he pleaded guilty to failure to produce identification, and the other two charges were dismissed.
Police reports stated that Manziel was with a friend who directed a racial slur at a man on the street. The man then approached the two of them and tried to get at the friend, but Manziel placed himself between the two men, saying his friend didn't mean it and he was going to take him home. The man continued pushing against Manziel to reach the other man, and Manziel eventually pushed back. At this point, the man swung at Manziel who then began fighting back. Shortly afterwards, the bicycle patrol officers arrived. Manziel was 19 at the time, and he presented to police officers a fake Louisiana driver's license that showed him to be 21 years of age. Manziel was taken into custody and reportedly spent the night in jail. After the incident, Manziel eventually regained the favor of his team and head coach Kevin Sumlin, and was named the starting quarterback. Sumlin's policy precluded freshmen from giving media interviews, and Manziel was unable to speak to reporters about his arrest until the end of the 2012 regular season. When reporters asked about the incident during his first press conference on November 27, Manziel stated that he had learned from the mistake and "had to make a lot of changes in [his] life."
During the 2013 offseason at Texas A&M, Manziel drew significant media attention over his behavior off the field. Notable incidents include his early departure from the Manning Passing Academy after allegedly oversleeping, tweeting that he "can't wait to leave College Station" after receiving a parking ticket, and getting kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party. An ESPN The Magazine article revealed his parents' concerns about his dealings with his newfound stardom.
On August 4, ESPN reported that the NCAA was investigating whether Manziel accepted payments for autographs that he had signed in January 2013. The NCAA did not find any evidence that Manziel accepted money for the autographs, but reached an agreement with Texas A&M to suspend him for the first half of the season opener against Rice University, due to an "inadvertent violation" of NCAA rules.
On February 4, Manziel entered a treatment program for unspecified reasons.
On May 30, Manziel was involved in an incident with a heckler at the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. The heckler had been continually asking for an autograph, to the point that Manziel became fed up and threw a water bottle at the man. The water bottle missed the heckler. Security and police were called, but no criminal charges were filed.
During October of the 2015 season, Manziel was pulled over by a policeman after fighting in his car with his then girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Although no charges were made, Manziel admitted to having had some alcoholic drinks earlier that afternoon.
On November 24, a week after Manziel was announced as the Browns' starter for the remainder of the season, head coach Mike Pettine demoted Manziel to third string after a video of him partying surfaced on the Internet. It was later revealed Manziel reportedly lied about the video.
On January 2, 2016, Manziel was seen at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood casino the night before the Browns played their final game of the 2015 season. Manziel was scratched from the final game because of a concussion. As word of his appearance at the casino spread across social media, he posted a photo on Instagram of himself and his dog at home. The next day, Manziel failed to report to the Browns on Sunday morning when he was supposed to report to the team medic, which all players with concussions are supposed to do. Sports Illustrated's Peter King also added that the Browns are "so done with Manziel" and he "wants to go to Dallas"
On January 6, 2016, Manziel's marketing agency, LRMR, announced that it would no longer work with Manziel. Manziel's agent, Erik Burkhardt, also announced that he would no longer represent Manziel. On February 5, 2016, the Dallas Police Department announced that they are opening a criminal investigation with a claim of domestic violence involving his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Dallas police had originally closed the case, but re-opened it with allegations stemming from an altercation on January 30, 2016, at a downtown Dallas hotel. According to Crowley, Manziel forced her into a car, pulled her by the hair, and threatened to kill both her and himself. On April 24, Manziel was indicted by a Dallas grand jury on misdemeanor assault charges for the incident.
On April 19, 2016, after just two months of representing him, agent Drew Rosenhaus terminated Manziel as a client, marking the first time in Rosenhaus' 27-year career he fired an NFL player. On the same day, Nike ended its sponsorship with Manziel.
On June 24, 2016, Manziel's attorney, Bob Hinton, accidentally sent a lengthy text message to the Associated Press relating to Manziel's defense in his domestic violence case. In the message, Hinton expressed concerns about Manziel's ability to stay clean, saying that he was given a receipt that suggests Manziel spent around $1,000 at The Gas Pipe, a drug paraphernalia store. On the same day, Manziel's father, Paul, told ESPN: "He's a druggie. It's not a secret that he's a druggie. Hopefully, he doesn't die before he comes to his senses. I mean, I hate to say it, but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him. I'm doing my job, and I'm going to move on. If I have to bury him, I'll bury him."
On June 30, 2016, he was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. On September 5, Manziel returned to his alma mater to take classes.
On December 2, 2016, Manziel and prosecutors finalized a plea agreement in which Manziel agreed to undergo counseling and have his conduct monitored by prosecutors for up to a year or face prosecution.
Manziel is a friend of rap artist Drake and in April 2014, Drake released a track entitled "Draft Day", which includes a shoutout to Manziel. On March 10, 2017, he became engaged to Bre Tiesi and the two were married in a private ceremony in March 2018.
We wish Johnny Manziel well as he embarks upon a return to football.
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