Johnny Manziel on Barstool podcast: ‘I have a guaranteed contract offer’

After chatting with Good Morning America on Monday, quarterback Johnny Manziel gave an extended interview to the Barstool Sports Pardon My Take podcast. Here are excerpts from that interveiew, which can be found in full here.

Q: Is it comeback season right now?

Johnny Manziel: Every day for me right now really is [come back season.] The only thing I have on my plate right now is working out six day a week and playing a little golf on the side and trying to keep myself in a good place to get away from some of the things that I’ve been doing the last couple of years and try and learn from my mistakes and get back to what I love doing. I’m sitting here at 25-years-old with a lot of time ahead of me. I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the prime years of my life.

Q: What’s going with the CFL stuff, is that still on the table?

Johnny Manziel:  Yeah, it’s definitely still on the table. As with anything, it takes a little bit of time. The season just ended with the NFL, the CFL ended a couple months before. Just taking some time and not rushing into anything and making sure everything is the right fit, I feel like that’s the biggest thing that’s going on right now.

Q: Over/under one start in the NFL for Johnny Manziel?

Johnny Manziel: I’m a little biased but I would say over. I know it’s not the easiest way back for me, I know where I’m at right now is not all sunshine and going to be smooth sailing but where I’m at and where I think my mindset is, that’s my goal – to get back there and be able to run out on the field as a starter again. I know it’s going to be a journey and it’s going to take some time but I still feel like I have the time to make it happen. That’s the long-term goal.

Q: Have teams reached out recently?

Johnny Manziel: There were some things that were transpiring last year that I thought really might work out that were not as well known to the public but behind some scenes where I thought we were making some progress. Once you get to the NFL Draft and guys start getting traded and the quarterback market kind of plays itself out, things start to slow down a little bit. That’s kind of where I’ve been at. So to say I have some interest is definitely true but it’s kind of hit or miss, right now I’m just trying to be patient. I didn’t hear anything from anybody last year until around Super Bowl time or a couple weeks after so now that the season’s over and people are looking and evaluating everything, all I can really do is try to stay the course of doing what I’m doing and give myself the best opportunity moving forward.”

Q; How are you going to earn back the trust?

Johnny Manziel: The most important thing is just being a good person in life, walking down the street, going about my daily life. And I can sit here with confidence and say if I hadn’t gone through what I’d gone through the last couple of years and shot myself in the foot and made my situation so bad and I don’t feel like I’d be in the headspace that I’m at today. I feel like I’ve been an entitled person that’s really hard headed and now that I look back, I’m about reflecting a little bit on my days in Cleveland, where things went wrong.

The people that were around me that were telling me things, that had a lot of experience that were really smart people, it just seemed to go in one ear and out the other with me because I was focussed on the wrong things or I was in a funk and not able to see it any other way.

Now I’ve had years to reflect on it, I’ve been sitting on the couch watching football for the last two years, watching it eat away at me, I’m able to feel what these people have said, truly feelingit in my soul to where I know that what I’m doing right now is right: stay out of the headlines, trying a do the right thing and put my right foot forward every day and if I can stack some of those days together, then I think I’m going to put myself in a good position to do that. But the main thing to gain trust back is just time.

Q: Are you totally sober now?

Johnny Manziel: I am. It’s what’s worked for me. I can sit here and say it with a straight face, I don’t function well and don’t do well when there’s alcohol involved. Do I feel like I have a physical dependency or anything like that? No, but the decisions I make when I do drink just aren’t as good as the ones I make when I’m clear-headed. I know it sounds really simple to say but it’s just so true in my life to see what happens when I don’t compared to what happens when I do. I know what the past is when I do so why not try something different if I’m really, truly, from-the-bottom-of-my heart trying to make a comeback.

Q: Did you go to rehab or AA?

Johnny Manziel: Obviously after my first year in Cleveland I went to a place for three months, the Browns fully supported me going there, wanted to work on myself. After being there for three months, I’m not going to say that I became an expert on addiction or alcoholism but I learned a great blueprint of what they give you to get ready to go back into the real world, what you need to do, steps you need to work, the meeting you need to go to. The thing I’ve done mostly in the last year and a half or two years is go to more therapy and see a psychiatrist to make sure I’m where I need to be mentally and still continue to do some of the other things on the side, as far as AA and things like that. I really just try to take care of my mental health and go see a therapist and walk somebody through my week. That’s been one of my biggest keys to success.”

Q: You got drafted the same time Lebron came back to Cleveland… what was that relationship like?

Johnny Manziel: The guy couldn’t have tried anymore. When I was going through my NCAA ‘scandal’ at A&M, every day I would get up and go to training camp and Bron would text me almost every day ‘just keep your head up, don’t worry about anything, all the outside noise.’ At this point in time, I was 20-years-old, I didn’t know how to handle the national media pressure without checking Twitter and letting it get in my head or seeing it on a website. He tried super-hard to keep me grounded and that was really the start of our relationship.

I feel like I never really gave Cleveland a chance. I was negative about it in my own personal space… I think I was pissed at the world and mad where I ended up drafted… I think I felt a sense of entitlement, like I was owed to be drafted higher or go somewhere where I wanted to go when in reality, I had no control over that. But LeBron tried his best. My first six months in Cleveland, I hardly did anything, I was just in a funk that I couldn’t get out of and didn’t give it much of a chance.”

Q: If you kill it in the CFL, would you give Cleveland another shot?

Johnny Manziel: I would think not. We’ve been down that path, we’ve seen it and just don’t see what the benefit would be to do that all over again… being thrust into a starting role right away, I wasn’t ready after year one. I didn’t know what it took to really study and grind the way these guys do, guys like Tom Brady, guys like Drew Brees, the guys who are really, really high-level players. They are high-level players because they are in the facility every day, they know every coverage, they’ve seen every snap of the opponent they are about to play. I didn’t understand that and Cleveland, they definitely didn’t help me learn. I had no idea what I was supposed to study, no idea what an NFL schedule was supposed to look like. I thought if we were supposed to be there at 7:30 in the morning, you get there at 7:25 and when you’re done at 6, you go home. In reality, when Josh McCown got there the next year, that’s not how it was. He was like ‘hey, let me put you under my wing and show you what it’s like, I’ve been doing this for 15 years.’ If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have figured out anything, what it takes to be good. It takes a team at the end of the day to really go out and be good but individually, knowing what you’re doing with a solid, established starter that can teach me, show me the ropes would have been ideal for me.

Q: Do you love football?

Johnny Manziel: It’s a great question. As I go back and review everything in my past, I feel like I got to a point – and this should never happen – with all the stuff that went on… I could not wait for a break. I was so burnt out, so tired that I never really got a chance to clear my head. I think for a time I was just a little burnt out and I questioned myself after I got cut in Cleveland if it was really what I wanted to do, if it was what I really loved. After two years… once it was taken away from me, the hunger and longing the desire to have that in my life again was so strong, I had to get back on the football field and try and make a comeback. I feel like my future is bright, brighter than it was the last couple of years. I have a guaranteed contract offer where I will be able to play somewhere this year. That’s a given. When that’s signed or where it is or what the case is, I don’t know the exact details of it yet. But I can sit here and say that I will be back on a football field this year. I cannot [expletive] wait to do it.

I’m happy about where I am in my personal life, where my head’s at, the state of clarity I’m in and to be able to acknowledge that I made a lot of mistakes but at the same time I don’t feel like a buried myself too deep to not climb my way out. Hopefully, along the way, some people forgive me and see that I was just a kid that was lost and caught up in the wrong things and had the wrong mindset and was extremely selfish. I feel like I had a blatant disrespect and I apologize for that publicly right now and hopefully, I can be forgiven and move forward and turn over a new page for my life.

Note: this interview has been condensed.


31 Comments on Johnny Manziel on Barstool podcast: ‘I have a guaranteed contract offer’

  1. A guaranteed contract? No such animal exists in the CFL and that’s the only contract offer he’s had so far!

  2. He needs to sign that offer since a lot of us are tired of hearing about him

  3. Once again, In Masoli We Trust. Bring on 2018. Oh yeah, Tasker is signed…Oskee Wee Wee!

    • you are sounding like someone who constantly needs reassuring since you say the samething every post..Masoli has to prove it again this year after only a short run as a starting QB.

      he is not a guarantee sure-thing despite what he has done so far and that is why we have 4 QBs signed and a 5th on the horizon with a guaranteed contract offer fictional or not

      we have many spots on the roster that are filled with quality starters but QB is far from that

  4. Bleeding Green // February 12, 2018 at 6:01 pm //

    This kid is an alcoholic. Sad to see he won’t admit it. He is setting himself up for failure. I’ll bet you anything he starts drinking again. Not drinking needs to be a law for him if he wants to be successful. Sounds overwhelming, but its not! There are lots of us that do it everyday. I hope he can just as a human being.

    • Well if he has admitted at all in the past he has a problem whether it be drugs or alcohol then he is an addict and once an addict you are always an addict, that isn’t to say you can’t be sober and live a sober life it just means you can’t just have a drink or do a line. So regardless of his football career his addiction will be a struggle for him for the rest of his life.

    • so a few soundbites and you are all addiction counselors haha

      stick to your day jobs whatever that may entail

  5. Green, I thought the exact sam thing. When he said “Do I feel like I have a physical dependency or anything like that? No.” I was thinking HELLO DENIAL!!! And then he goes on to talk about alcohol wrecked his life. I don’t think he sounds like he has come to terms with his addiction yet. I sincerely wish him all the best; alcohol is a boring slave master.

    • Bleeding Green // February 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm //

      Sad to see!! I’m not a huge Manziel (football) fan, but just as a person you want to see him come to terms with it. As a recovering alcoholic myself I’ve always cheered his personal life on in terms of addiction. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

      • good for you! Takes a lot to admit and even more to stay sober. Be positive and best of luck Bleeding Green!

  6. What Manziel means is the Cats had to offer the contract to keep his rights. So it is sitting on his agents desk. The cats can’t rescind it. So if he signs it and shows up in Hamilton they have to either make room on the roster, trade him and the contract, or cut him making him a CFL FA for as long as he remains unsigned. Now he also may have a deal on the table from the Richmond Rough riders of the American Arena League. Or a team in The X-League, the top-level American football league in Japan. There are two types of teams, one being a company team in which only employees of that particular sponsoring company may participate as a player, and the other classified as a club team for which anyone can try out. Toyota or some similar company may want to sign him for the publicity it generates with its US customers.

    • its a contract offer, yes the team can rescind it. They could also cut him in training camp or trade his rights.

    • @Tommy…. Johnny football playing for Toyota in the Japan football league with office employees…. man that had me laughing so hard!!!

      CFL is his only option…. anything else is basically retirement because the competition won’t be there

  7. Phil and Bleeding Green it is splitting hairs but there is a diagnosis for Bipolar and depression where you drink to deaden the pain of depression but your not technically addicted. He may mean that. He probably also deadened the pain with cocaine but he is not going to admit that. Not a doctor but I play one on the internet. There are natural ways to deaden the pain and the endorphins (body produced morphine) you get from extreme running, weight lifting or an orgasm would be a better choice.

    • Bleeding Green // February 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm //

      Fair enough and I probably shouldn’t sit here and diagnose, but he is saying all the things I said before I admitted I was an alcoholic. Maybe he isn’t. But The way he explains alcohol affects his life, it sounds like he is well on his way if he isn’t careful. I don’t know what bipolar is like so I won’t even begin to say I know how he feels on that front.

      • no you shouldnt be condemning someones personals issue just because you dont want him playing football here…ive said it before what demons lurk from your past at that age ?

        everyones different but we all have issues in our youth diagnosed or not and this is a game after all being football, what were you like in your early 20s

      • Edward Smith // February 13, 2018 at 9:12 am //

        Bipolar, its tough playing football because you see 2 of everything, its hard to know what receiver to throw to, or for a receiver they see 2 balls coming at them

  8. Red&White Forever // February 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm //

    Manziel is a joke. He’s only concerned with himself and his publicity. Trent Richardson was pretty much in the same position last year, and he quietly deflected questions, gave the appropriate answers, and bided his time to get his chance. Unlike Manziel who is “coming back” but hasn’t even committed to a team because he thinks he’s worth CFL starter money. He should get the exact same contract that Troy Smith, Akili Smith, or any other high NFL pick that came up here after crashing out of the NFL. Nothing proven, nothing earned. If he TRULY wanted to play, and it was ALL about getting back to the NFL, he would have already signed AND kept his mouth shut. The TiCats would be wise to either trade this guy or cut ties. He has bad news written all over him. Not even signed, and talking about a guaranteed contract? He’s not even in the league and look at the distraction he already is. He’s the ultimate “me” player. Shut up, sign a deal, and PROVE it! Doesn’t matter how good he could be, no teammate will give their all for a complete and total “me” player. Go back where you came from, Johnny Nobody.

    • Nobody wants to give up anything so just drop him off the negativity list. One thing your missing is every QB successful or unsuccessful in the CFL crashed out of the NFL. It is just a question of how fast. Collaros and Ricky Ray lasted a few weeks in the NFL. Flutie hung on for several years. Lulay was with several teams plus an NFL Europe and an arena team. He finally gave up and did well up here. To just trot out the cliché high profile ones that failed is ignoring the fact the successful ones also crashed out of the NFL or never even got a chance in the first place. Go ahead look at last years starters and you will see they were all cut by the NFL or never even offered a camp slot. I will counter the two smiths and Ferragamo with Joe Theisman, Chuck Ealy, Collaros, Ricky Ray, Burris and Durant who all succeeded wildly here after either getting cut, told to not bother, or holding out because of a low offer from the NFL.

      • Red&White Forever // February 12, 2018 at 8:04 pm //

        “Frito” Ray signed for how much $$$ for his first CFL deal? How about Ealy, Burris, and Durant? Were they asking for CFL starter money after crashing out of the NFL and never playing a down in the CFL? Troy Smith and Akili Smith were just comparatives as QB’s who started in the NFL before coming north. Ricky Ray was actually driving a potato chip delivery truck ( hence the nickname “Frito”) when he signed with the Esks. He was happy just to be paid to play football. What has Johnny Nobody done but demand over $500K a year? Alcoholic (which I have much sympathy for, but specifically did not mention, I based my decision/opinion on football and personality) or not, it has no impact on his football value (see Lawrence Phillips). Manziel has done NOTHING yet. He wants big dollars? Then he needs to shut his mouth and EARN it.

        • Another point is that the leagues are peers of each other in a legal sense. So top helmet and pad Football leagues in each of their countries. So 2 years experience in one league should be considered time in service. Flutie and Manziel were not rookies in pro football and should get some consideration. Flutie did he was the top paid player at the time. I put Manziel at Franklin’s level who is getting 250K from the Argos for sitting on the bench for 2 years. Manziel on the other hand appeared in 14 games, won 2 and set a Browns single game QB rushing record. It has worked the other way. The Houston oilers did not demand that Warren Moon start at the bottom but gave him a very rich contract by the standards of the time. Garcia also get paid well. I also find your tone very angry and disrespectful. You treat incoming players with no respect and of course they want to get out as soon as they can like Wilder does. The difference in rules is negligible. All those players I mentioned succeeded right out of the box. And don’t say Manziel is no Flutie because no one had any idea Flutie would do so well as the highest paid player in the CFL at the time. And no one knows how JF will do but he is no rookie he is a player with 2 years pro experience in a top league in another country of the same sport.

      • There were also a lot of players that started in the CFL a became successful in the NFL so what is your point? Joe Theisman and Warren Moon are only a few.

        • My point is the two leagues are equal peers similar to the top FIFA Football leagues in England and Germany. So two years service in one league counts the same as two years service in the other. Theisman and Moon were not made to start at the bottom in the NFL after years in the CFL. Flutie who actually did worse in the NFL than Manziel was not made to start at the bottom in the CFL after a few years in the NFL. So why do we demand this guy start at the bottom? Seems all very unfair and mean spirited. I would place Manziel at Franklin’s level who sat on the bench in the CFL for two years. Whereas Manziel actually played in 14 games, won two, and set a single game rushing record for a QB.

    • im sure your a young kid but wait until you have to raise kids …that condemning attitude will not serve you well

      of the opposite is true and you have raised kids then you are either a terrible dad or you are just letting your ego get in the way of someone who needs understanding instead of scorn

      which of these scenarios are you

  9. As a Recovering alcoholic myself I also just wish he’d surrender to it but let’s face it he’s 25 and denial is huge in us aas. This bipolar stuff doesn’t quite pass the smell test for me but i do not know him personally. We all want to take a magic pill to.make us better when In reality ..and there are many many of us.. we’re “different” mentally. Maybe hes found what works only time will tell ..he sure sounds allot like my attitude at 25 when I first started losing control of my life and constantly rebuilding it. I hope he comes to Canada and makes a go of it. The Ego can wreak havoc on us for what were hiding. I’m sure this guy is actually a pretty good guy. I’m rooting for the person not the football player. My two cents guys

    • Bleeding Green // February 12, 2018 at 7:22 pm //

      Boo Esks this is exactly what I was trying to say but in better words! I think every recovering alcoholic that read this were able to relate to it at some point in their lives. I do hope he is able to find what works, but rarely have we seen a person fail that has thoroughly followed our path!

  10. This guy is broken. A pro QB cannot be broken. Wish him well, but can’t see him making it based on what I just read.

  11. Haha yeah green I must have been posting same time as you so I just read it. And often have we failed when we don’t follow it take it from my experience. Why it’s hard to see all the judgement from all the “normies” .. and hard to see this man’s transgressions all.over the media. Let’s just hope he gets it some day. Took me a long long time just to recognize it

  12. Not a fan of his, but having said that, he is a human being that says he wants to turn his life around. If he is really committed to this, good on him. One thing he needs to understand is that the CFL is much better than he appears to think it is. he will not necessarily succeed here as others have found out. From the CFL side of things, he will garnish a ton of exposure. It would be nice if it works out for both parties.

    • Yes it would be nice if it works out for both parties. You would agree that it would even be better if does adapt well and lights it up in cfl. Cfl would be biggest benefactor. So at this point let’s see if he does come to Canada and to which team. Then we all will get updates on his progress from the coach and wait to see when he may start. We are too far out front at this point.

  13. Just think Johnny needs to be wanted in a way. If a team commits to him and gives him the help he needs on the field and off the field I think he will do just fine. Up to this point no teams in the CFL or NFL have committed to this since his down fall in Cleveland.

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