Manziel's options appear limited as unemployment looms

Tue Feb 2, 2016 6:31pm EST
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By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - If Johnny Manziel never plays another game in the National Football League, he will not be the first talented player to squander his natural gifts and no doubt will not be the last.

It is one thing to have a career cut short by injury, quite another to sabotage yourself through self-inflicted wounds.

Doubts about Manziel's emotional stability and maturity contributed to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner -- he was the first freshman to be named the best player in college football -- falling to 22nd in the 2014 draft before he was finally picked up by the Cleveland Browns.

But Cleveland's new coach Hue Jackson apparently has decided he does not want any further part of Manziel's shenanigans, and the Browns are set to cut "Johnny Football" loose after two seasons and just 14 games, according to multiple reports.

The imminent move comes after his latest off-field news making incident, a reported altercation with an ex-girlfriend which police are investigating.

Manziel's clouded situation, amid continuing reports of excessive drinking and gambling, brings to mind the fate of Ryan Leaf, the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, who spent four seasons in the league before his career was cut short by erratic behavior and poor play.

After falling out of the league, Leaf had drug-related legal issues that briefly landed him in prison.

Manziel's multiple off-field indiscretions reportedly include domestic disputes with his girlfriend and partying at inappropriate times, and he spent 10 weeks at a rehab facility early last year.   Continued...

Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports