It seems as if Johnny Manziel is putting his hopes of returning to the NFL on the backburner — and he's okay with it.
The controversial former Cleveland Browns quarterback told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that he's happier than he's been in a long time. This stems from recognizing — and being content with — the reality that he likely won't play in the NFL again.
"I've finally got to a point where I'm trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field," the 27-year-old told the newspaper over the weekend. "I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give it another chance, but I don't know, as far as being a person and figuring out life as a young adult — trying to make it and figure it out — if I've ever been in a better place than I'm in right now."
"I can honestly say I'm happy and I'm doing the right things to try and put a smile on my face every day, and that means more to me than going out and grinding on a football field," he continued.
Manziel first attracted controversy due to partying at Texas A&M and in the NFL. After being drafted with much acclaim by the Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel was released just two years later.
Johnny Manziel on the Cleveland Browns
When asked about the future, Manziel was clear he doesn't imagine he'll return to the field professionally.
"In the past, probably, is the way I'd characterize it," he said of his career.
After he was released from the Browns, Manziel briefly played for the Canadian Football League before signing with the now-defunct AAF.
In 2018, Manziel revealed to ABC News that he suffers from depression and was taking medication for bipolar disorder during his time with the franchise.
“That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression,” Manziel said.
“When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid … sense of euphoria that is over you is all gone," he continued.
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Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he wants to return to the NFL and adds that he has cleaned his life up since a series of incidents that ultimately got him cut from the team that drafted him
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Manziel admitted to the Avalanche-Journal that he's been "humbled" in the years since he played in the NFL.
“I think it’s just, the work you put in when you have the free hours and when you do things on your own, that matches up accordingly with what happens on the field. And when you get to thinking that you’re too good or you’re better than the game, it’ll humble you," he said.
"And that’s what happened. I got humbled," Manziel continued. "Thank God I did get a chance to be humbled, because when you think you’re at the top of the world, it’s a dangerous place."