While there’s been no drinking or partying photos of Johnny Manziel to report on when he’s known to be in Cleveland, Akron Beacon Journal Browns’ beat writer Nate Ulrich penned a column Tuesday morning urging the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner to slow down with his off-field behavior.
Ulrich’s opinion is based off Manziel saying he’s read to be a professional and to help a team win during the NFL Combine last winter.
“I believe whenever I decided to make this decision to turn professional, it was a time to really put my college years in the past,” Manziel said. “This is a job now. There’s guys’ families, coaches’ families and jobs and all kinds of things on the line. For me it’s nothing. It won’t be a hard thing to kick or anything really a hard deal to not do. I’m extremely focused on whatever organization I’ll be at and really pouring my heart out trying to be football 24/7 with that team.”
“Since the Vegas vacation, Manziel hasn’t taken a weekend off from partying. His living-life-to-the-fullest streak extended to five consecutive weekends when he went out Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Houston, as documented on social media and then passed along by BustedCoverage.com…
We’ve reached the point where some of you will scoff — if you haven’t already — because there have been no indications that Manziel has done anything illegal. He’s 21 and many people his age party and drink on a regular basis. I readily admit I was one of them.
But I never received an $8.25 million contract to play quarterback for an NFL franchise. Yes, New York Jets great Joe Namath won a Super Bowl and became a Hall of Fame quarterback despite acting like a wild man in the ’60s and ’70s, though it’s hardly a recipe for success.”
Extra attention is being paid to Johnny Football this week because all the rookies are convening in Aurora, Ohio for the NFL Rookie Symposium–a place where old players gather to tell the newbies how not to blow their careers. This comes off the heels of a photo, posted by TMZ.com, where Manziel is caught drinking something from a bottle while taking in the World Cup on Sunday.
Ulrich also brings up the “Money Phone” incident, as well as Manziel’s other extra curricular actives since being drafted No. 22 overall by the Browns in May.
Are the Browns really worried about Manziel? Probably. “Money Phone” was embarrassing, and that’s not good for the brand. But until he starts missing practice, or forgetting play calls, should we be that concerned?
Twenty-one year olds drink. Especially during the summer when they’re finally of age. Just because Manziel’s paid millions isn’t going to make him boring old Tom Brady.
Besides, it’s not like he’s a head of state. Let the real judging come during training camp because he hasn’t broken his promise yet. If he continues to embarrass, the Browns will truly have a problem. But until then, let the kid enjoy the summer.