Johnny Manziel, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback whose personal struggles got so bad his own father hoped he’d end up in jail, says he’s been in contact with NFL teams regarding a comeback.
“To say I’ve had some interest is definitely true,” Manziel told the “Pardon My Take” podcast on Monday.
According to the 25-year-old, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015, the attention is in part due to the work he’s putting in to get back onto the gridiron.
“The only thing I have on my plate right now is working out six days a week and playing a little golf on the side, trying to just keep myself in a good place, get away from some of the things I’ve been doing the last couple of years. Learn from my mistakes and get back to what I love doing and what I want to be doing in my life,” he said, according to For the Win. “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. Kind of dig myself up from where I was the past couple years and make a really good push to get back on the football field.”
He was asked if he thought he’d experience over or under one more game as a starter in the NFL.
“In my personal opinion—of course, 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 was not all sunshine and it won’t be smooth sailing. But where I’m at and where my mind-set is, that’s my goal at the end of the day: to get back there and to be able to run out on the field as a starter again.
“I’m not expecting anything … 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 do it and make it happen. So that’s the end goal, that’s the long-term goal for me.”
Also on Monday, the former Heisman winner revealed in an interview with “Good Morning America” that he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and admitted to “self-medicating with alcohol.”
Now, he says he’s sober and taking medication for his condition.
Manziel wasn’t great during his two seasons, 15 appearances, and eight starts with the Browns, but they’ve somehow gotten worse in his absence—Cleveland has four wins in their last 53 games, and Manziel is responsible for two of them.