A third autograph broker has now come forward claiming that Johnny Manziel was paid for signing autographs, and this broker has an exact dollar figure: $7,500.
As reported by ESPN's Outside the Lines, the broker, located on the East Coast, indicated that Manziel was paid for signing about 300 helmets, of both mini- and full size, in January. The broker has two cell phone videos showing Manziel signing autographs in a Connecticut hotel room.
However, Manziel does not accept any money on the tape, which was apparently recorded without his knowledge. The broker had sought to sell the videos to ESPN, but ESPN declined to pay. On the tape, according to ESPN, Manziel apparently tells the broker that if he, the broker, told anyone of this signing, Manziel would never deal with him again. Manziel also apparently said he would explain the glut of memorabilia bearing his signature by saying he had been approached by numerous fans seeking autographs.
The tape also includes a segment where Manziel declines extra cash for personalized inscriptions, saying that when he had done so before it led to questions. According to the broker, Manziel said he wanted to purchase new rims with the money he received from selling autographs.
Manziel is already the source of an NCAA investigation regarding autographs. Per that investigation, two sources have said they witnessed Manziel signing, but they too did not witness Manziel receiving any money. Manziel was allegedly signing photographs and other memorabilia for Drew Tieman, an autograph broker, who met with Manziel in Florida just prior to the national championship game. Another broker based in Alabama has claimed that Manziel signed with him prior to the Texas A&M/Alabama game in 2012.
Manziel is at risk of suspension or loss of eligibility. While Texas A&M has already begun preseason practice, Manziel has not yet spoken to the media. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin indicated that Manziel would be practicing as normal, but that the team had not yet made a decision on whether Manziel would start the season opener against Rice on Aug. 31.
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Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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