Johnny Manziel says he '100 percent' lost his Browns teammates' respect with off-field antics

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Jack Baer
·Writer
·2 min read
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The Johnny Manziel Era of the Cleveland Browns is years in the rear-view mirror, and the quarterback has begun discussing what went wrong in a career that went from a Heisman Trophy as a freshman to a spectacular flameout in the National Football League, then the Canadian Football League.

Manziel appeared on Tuesday’s episode of the YNK Podcast, and addressed a Browns tenure most of fans of the team are still trying to forget.

Johnny Manziel: I wasted two years of Joe Thomas’ career

At the 42-minute mark, Manziel is asked if he felt he lost his teammates as his career started trending down. His answer was breathtakingly candid.

From Bleacher Report:

"Looking back on it now, I would say I absolutely, 100 percent lost their respect. Why wouldn't you? If I was one of them looking back at what I was doing, and your decisions that you make off the field impact if I put food on mine, yeah I'd feel some type of way, a hundred percent. I would say we wasted a draft pick to go get this guy who doesn't give a f--k. And that's my only thing in life that I haven't been able to look back and like fully have closure on. ... It's probably one of the only things that I haven't looked back on and been able to be like super, super OK with what happened."

Manziel went on to say he wasted two years of Joe Thomas’ Hall of Fame-worthy career and that he regrets not being closer to his teammates. He said he has aired things out with some teammates in the last two years, but that doesn’t change what happened:

I didn't have the grind in my mind like I did to be great in college like I did in Cleveland, and I feel disrespectful to the guys who were there, being legends because they worked their f--king ass off."

The story of Manziel’s Browns career remains well known, though it can be easy to forget just how bad things got, like when he was seen at a Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas the night before a Browns game. Manziel didn’t play in the NFL again after that incident, which was followed by a domestic violence investigation and substance abuse suspension.

Manziel attempted to keep his career going in the Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football, but the former ended with a lifetime suspension and the latter with the folding of the league. Manziel admitted his football career was basically over in June.

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