As if freewheeling former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel was not unattractive enough to current NFL teams, he now has this to add to his plate: A four-game suspension to start the 2016 NFL season due to a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per a source informed of the suspension.
Manziel's publicist had no comment on the situation.
The news, first reported by TMZ, places another massive roadblock in the way of Manziel returning to the league. Per Rapoport, if he signs with a team he is still also facing a review through the NFL's personal-conduct policy stemming from an indictment on an assault charge after his ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence.
Manziel's ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, told Dallas police that Manziel repeatedly hit her and threatened to kill her during a night out on Jan. 30.
With Manziel, though, everyone seems to understand the obvious: becoming a part of an NFL team might never happen again. His father, Paul, recently poured his heart out to ESPN and proclaimed his son a "druggie" who hopefully "doesn't die before he comes to his senses." His increasingly erratic and abhorrent behavior could leave an irreversible scar on NFL front offices across the league. More importantly, those close to him are begging for Manziel to get help and turn his life around.
Speaking on WTEL-AM in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of operations, said the league has been trying to help Manziel.
"You see his parents and when the father speaks out about losing his son to potentially substance abuse, you know there's a problem and you know Johnny's not returning phone calls, he's in different states," Vincent said. "You kind of see him, you get his notice of where he is based off of social media, and that's a challenge but we won't stop, we'll continue to keep reaching out. Letting Johnny know that we love him, we care for him and that we're here when he's willing and wants and is able to accept assistance, we'll be there for him."
So it goes for Manziel, one of five first-round picks since 2000 to have been cut just two years into his rookie contract. The 23-year-old was released by the Browns in March after eight NFL starts and a 2-6 record.