With the 15th pick in the 2016 National Football League Draft, the Cleveland Browns had a momentous decision to make during the first round last Thursday night. Ultimately, the Browns selected wide receiver Carey Coleman to round out its team of professional players. Noticeably missing from the spotlight, however? Former Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Manziel, who was an NFL superstar and first draft pick in the league just two years ago, spent the evening watching the draft on TV alone at a bar in Columbus, Ohio, before attending a Justin Bieber concert.
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The 23-year-old was indicted last Tuesday on a misdemeanor assault charge after he allegedly struck and threatened to kill former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. She says her eardrum ruptured from the blow Manziel dealt her.
In a February affidavit, Crowley explained that the assault stemmed from a confrontation in a hotel room where the couple talked about another woman. Crowley alleges she tried to escape to her car in front, but Manziel followed her, throwing her into the back of the vehicle and striking her left ear.
Manziel must appear in a Dallas court on May 5 and post a $1,500 bond. The former football player is expected to turn himself in to authorities on the day of or the day before the hearing. Conditions of the bond include Manziel maintaining a 500-foot distance from Crowley and not possessing a firearm.
A Troubled Past
The ex-NFL star is not prohibited from drinking alcohol, however — which may come as a surprise, considering his history of substance abuse. Just last year, in late January, Manziel checked himself into a rehabilitation center, where he remained for more than 10 weeks, to treat his alcoholism.
Despite reports that the football player made good progress in rehab, sources say he's back to his old partying ways. In fact, following the Bieber concert last Thursday evening, Manziel was reportedly seen at Columbus, Ohio's Dahlia Bar and Lounge purchasing 300 shots of Fireball whiskey and Miller Lite beers to share with fellow patrons in the pub.
Manziel's father, Paul, claims he's tried to convince his son to enter rehab for a second stint this year, but Manziel has refused on two occasions. But if the former quarterback doesn't seek help now, says his father, he probably won't live to see his 24th birthday, which is in December. There are several luxury rehab facalitles where athletes can swim, surf, kayak, and enjoy deep sea fishing so that they still can enjoy life while detoxing. Going to a new rehab would be one step in the right direction.
Any NFL Future?
If the fallen Heisman Trophy winner does make it that far, will he ever play in the NFL again? Only time will tell. The player's agent, Erik Burkhardt, already dropped him as a client back in February. And Manziel may have a tough time finding new representation, as the current indictment isn't his first run-in with the law. In 2013, the then-Texas A&M quarterback pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsely identifying himself to a police officer.
Manziel could be on the sidelines for the entire 2016 NFL season. It’s doubtful any team will want to take a chance on him. Let's just hope he makes up his mind to watch the games from the couch in a rehab facility, not from the stool in a smoky bar.
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After all, he may not have much choice after he faces the judge on May 5 for what is, well, not quite his first rodeo.