(Reuters) - Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, a former Heisman Trophy winner with a well-documented penchant for partying, has entered a treatment facility to deal with personal problems, his adviser said on Monday.
Manziel, who struggled to live up to his status as a first-round draft pick this season, entered treatment on Wednesday, the adviser, Brad Beckworth, said in a statement.
“Johnny knows there are areas he needs to improve on to help him be a better family member, friend and teammate, so he decided to take this step in his life during the offseason,” Beckworth said.
“On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland.”
The problem for which Manziel was seeking treatment was not specified nor was the name of the facility.
Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said: “We respect Johnny’s initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process.
“Johnny’s privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same.”
Manziel, 22, played most of the season as a backup to Brian Hoyer, starting just two games. He completed 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards and had two interceptions and zero touchdowns.
“Much love and support to my brother Johnny,” Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said on Twitter. “Proud of him, big step. Football is secondary. God Bless!”
Known as “Johnny Football” since his days playing at Texas A&M University, Manziel was placed on injured reserve after injuring his hamstring in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers.
Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft, spoke often this season of his desire to be the Browns’ starter but was then seen in social media at parties with friends and celebrities.
He was cited repeatedly by teammates and coaches, often anonymously, as being unprepared for games.
“Johnny has to show on and off the field he can be a professional,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said last month. “He knows that. Everybody in the organization has told him that.
“He knows what we expect of him on and off the field and it’s up to him to prove he can do that.”
Manziel’s first start was in Week 15 and the Browns (7-9 this year) suffered a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Manziel was 10 for 18 for 80 yards with a pair of interceptions.
Reportng by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech