But then Gonzalez met Manziel’s public relations manager, who was with the quarterback during the workout. The manager had a pair of shoes which Manziel intends to sell if he signs with an NFL team.
“[The shoe] said, ‘The Comeback,'” Gonzalez said on The Big Lead Radio on Fox Sports. “And I’m like, ‘The comeback from what?’ No offense to Johnny, but it’s not like he came here and lit the league up. And that’s a part of it, though. … After all that’s gone on with Johnny, he’s still thinking about branding, and how to make money on it, and how to be the man and all that stuff. The comeback tour. And I just think I’m old school. Just keep football at the top. It’s literally that simple. More important than anything else in your life. Some people don’t want to hear that. But it’s more important than anything else in your life. And I’m not saying other things like your family, your religion or your charity isn’t important. But [football] is where you spend most of your time. That is where you get your bread buttered.”
The story from Gonzalez is the perfect representation of what’s wrong with Manziel. He’s got the arm talent — so much so that Gonzalez went over to see who Manziel was in this random park. But while the arm talent was attractive, Manziel’s baggage was immediately apparent.
A public relationship manager at a workout? A shoe line, ready to go for when Manziel gets a contract? His problems are also making a comeback: distractions and mixed up priorities.
Manziel is already gearing up to capitalize upon the job he doesn’t have yet.
Manziel flunked out of the league for a number of reasons. He was struggling with mental health issues. He struggled with bi-polar disorder and alcohol addiction, Manziel explained recently. That’s why reports popped up he was showing up drunk to the Browns facility. That’s also why he was known for partying too hard. He also admitted to not doing his homework when he was with the Browns.
Manziel’s dismissed charges of domestic abuse seemed to effectively end his NFL career, as they came with a horrifying testimony from his ex-girlfriend.
Entering the league, his playboy image was manageable. But he had gone well beyond the space where past NFL playboys like Joe Namath could function (and win games). The concern around the NFL should be that he might not be ready for the spotlight again — that the attention might lead to Manziel regressing into the tendencies which sunk him in the first place.
“I just think the whole partying and the whole culture of wanting to be ‘The Man’ — you’ve got to get out of that, and keep football at the top,” Gonzalez said. “And that’s what I told him. I said, ‘Keep football No. 1 in your life. And then you can be the man. But you’ve got to keep football at the top.’ And I think he’s figured that — I hope.’
Gonzalez added: “Am I the man when I show up at the club? Am I hanging out with Jay-Z and LeBron, and all these people that do put in the work in? LeBron and Jay-Z — they don’t see the work that those guys put in. They just want to be like them. That’s why they have a problem. They don’t realize that they don’t have to over-deliver.”
Manziel has yet to over-deliver in his NFL career. And in the meantime, what NFL team wants their backup quarterback launching a shoe line?
When Manziel shows his true colors, he makes himself unattractive to NFL teams. He may have talent, but he doesn’t have the rest of the necessities to be an NFL quarterback.