Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel entered a rehab program last week, seeking help after a season in which he made more headlines for partying than for his play on the field.
“Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate and he thought the off-season was the right time to take this step,” Brad Beckworth, a family friend and adviser, told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland.”
He entered the facility, the name of which was not revealed, last Wednesday. Nor was the problem for which he is seeking treatment specified.
Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said in a statement released by the team:
“We respect Johnny’s initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players’ health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player.
“Johnny’s privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same.”
Johnny Football, the 22nd pick in the first round of the NFL draft, struggled mightily to grow into the NFL game, despite a glittering resume that included a Heisman Trophy. He often spoke of wanting to be the Browns’ starter and of taking his job and himself seriously, then turned up on social media partying with friends and celebrities. The cycle was repeated often throughout the season, with the result that by the end the Browns were ready to look elsewhere for a quarterback.
On the last week of the season, Manziel, who turned 22 in December, said he wanted to be “the guy” for the Browns, then, four days later, he failed to show up for treatment for an injured hamstring before the season finale. The team sent security to find his home to make sure he was fine and ESPN cites sources who found a player “they felt clearly had partied hard the night before.”
A source told ESPN that “Johnny’s his own worst enemy.”