AFC North Notes: Manziel, Bengals, Atkins

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel opened up about his history of substance abuse and disclosed that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I was self medicating with alcohol because that’s what I thought was making me happy to help me get out of that depression to a point where I felt like I had some sense of happiness,” Manziel said (transcript via Joey Morona of Cleveland.com). “But at the end of the day, when you wake up the next day after a night like that or after going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that’s all gone. And that liquid courage or that liquid sense of euphoria that’s over you that’s all gone and you’re left staring at the ceiling by yourself and you’re back in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself and being super depressed again thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life. Where did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did it get me? Disgraced.”

Manziel remains focused on mounting an NFL comeback, but he’ll have to get on a football field somewhere before he can put himself on the radar for teams. At last check, Manziel’s agent was in a standoff with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats as they try to negotiate a contract.

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16 comments on “AFC North Notes: Manziel, Bengals, Atkins

  1. yoyo137

    Props to Manziel for facing his problems, even if he doesn’t make the NFL again I’m glad he knows that his mental health is the most important thing. He can use his voice to advocate for people with bipolar disorder and depression, he definitely seems to have his head on straight now. I’ll be rooting for the comeback as well.

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  2. bucketheadsdad

    I appreciate Mr. Manziel coming forward and sharing his struggles and his pursuit of redemption on the football field. PFR, could you please do us Browns fans a favor? Could you just refer to Mr. Manziel as “free agent” quarterback Johnny Manziel, rather than continually identifying him as “former Browns quarterback” Johnny Manziel. We’ve moved on, acknowledged the mistake, and would love it if you could do the same. Thanks. 🙂

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      • bucketheadsdad

        Thanks. He has been gone for a few years, and he is working for an opportunity with another ball club. I wish him well, but he is not part of ‘us’ anymore.

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        • Trevor

          Since I have the opportunity to address a Browns fan, let me say, sign Cousins(don’t go cheap) and draft that kid from Penn State. Forget that crap about grooming a QB for a few years from now. The Browns need to win NOW! That fans have been patient, they don’t care about a QB three years from now. You get those two guys and you’re back to respectability. Mike drop!

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        • Michael Chaney

          I think that’s a good way to put it. I really hope he can move on and succeed, but wishing that doesn’t necessarily mean I wish that he’s been connected to the Browns (and might always be).

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  3. ATL_ranger

    Glad to not see a bunch of Johnny hate on this post. Listening to his interviews today with GMA and Pardon My Take, dude has definitely grown up and seems to have the maturity to succeed. Hope he gets another shot

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  4. Richard Hangslow

    Let’s ease off of diagnosing substance abuse for someone in their early 20’s. Which one of us didn’t drink ourselves stupid between 20-24? When you get older and have a job it slows down on its own. Very few people keep that up beyond that point.

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    • Trevor

      The older we get the more responsibilities we have, and don’t have the time to drink.

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  5. steliokontos

    I agree with the statement above. “Substance abuse” is a good way of saving face. Truthfully he is just a spoiled jackass. It’s a shame that there are so many good people in this league who do great things on and off the field and yet there is still so much focus on this guy and Kaepernick. This is football, not The Days of Our Lives. Get the damn drama out.

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    • mcdusty31

      I disagree. Struggles happen in every walk of life, not just to professional athletes or other famous people. The difference is, when John Q. Public the accountant has problems in his life, it’s not splattered all over the media for everyone to judge. At the end of the day Johnny Manziel is a human being and we all make mistakes. Yes, he made a lot more mistakes than most people do. Yes, he had a golden opportunity that most people don’t have. He is still human and susceptible to have struggles and fail just like anyone else. If he has truly turned the corner in his life and he is ready to make changes I wish him nothing but the best. People should be rooting for him so that he can be an example to others like him that have to overcome adversity, whether it be at their own doing or something that they couldn’t control. Best of luck Johnny.

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  6. Michael Chaney

    I didn’t get to watch the interview so I’m only going off of various accounts of it that I’ve read elsewhere, but I like that he seems to have started holding himself accountable for his past mistakes. That’s even a contrast from recently (I think I remember him saying on instagram that he blamed the Browns or something like that), but hopefully this more mature version of him is the real version. I’m glad he seems to be taking ownership of what he’s done wrong.

    I’m a Browns fan, but I still really want to see him succeed, and I hope he’s moved on from his issues and is able to do just that. Good luck, Johnny.

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  7. madmanTX

    Lots here may have been swayed by Manziel’s talk and fair enough somebody can give him a tryout, but he has a long way to go to earn back real respect after the way he pissed on his 1st NFL shot.

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  8. yourtribe

    Johnny is a loser. Now we hear excuses and takes no responsibility. Go away loser.

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