Johnny Manziel lost his NFL career—and nearly his life—to “get out of being Johnny Football.”

“UNTOLD: Johnny Football” is a new Netflix documentary about Johnny Manziel.

The former NFL player explains how his personal issues caused his football career to end.

Telling Insider that he’s eager to put “the whole Johnny Football thing to rest” and start “a more normal life,”

Johnny Manziel, who has experienced a wild career that has made him one of the most recognizable and infamous figures in sports, is eager to move on from football and the whole Johnny Football obsession that surrounds it.

Johnny Manziel lost his NFL career—and nearly his life—to “get out of being Johnny Football.”
Johnny Manziel lost his NFL career—and nearly his life—to “get out of being Johnny Football.”

The captivating new Netflix documentary “UNTOLD: Johnny Football,” about the former quarterback for the Cleveland Browns and Heisman Trophy winner, describes his quick ascent to fame and glory, the prostitution that followed him from college to the NFL, and the personal issues that ended his budding NFL career in just two years and almost took his life.

Now that chapter of his life has closed, Manziel told Insider he was ready to “let the past be the past.”
“I still get a lot of questions regarding football and regarding a past career, and I want to put the whole Johnny Football thing to rest,” he stated. “Even though it’ll never quite fully go away, at least for the majority of people in my interactions in daily life, I want to be able to put this story out there and just let it be what it is.”

Manziel’s rise to prominence in the football world and his eventual collapse in the professional ranks were both extensively reported and well-documented in real time. His narrative takes on additional significance, though, when one considers his recent emphasis on “being open and being honest” and “not having any reservations with the struggles that you have in life,” as he told Insider.

Manziel lacked the necessary skills to handle the notoriety that accompanied his extraordinary success.
Manziel, a native of Texas, gained notoriety at the age of seventeen after an exceptional debut campaign at Texas A&M. Over the course of the season, he broke record after record, gaining the nickname “Johnny Football” as he led the Aggies to an outstanding 11-2 record overall and a decisive victory in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

Most significantly, only a few days after turning 20 years old, Manziel became the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the most coveted individual honor in college football. Manziel became almost instantly famous after receiving the extraordinary accolade, and his younger sister states in the video that Johnny “became a little bit larger than football at that point.”Looking back, Manziel concurs. In an interview with Insider, he said that “all I wanted to do was get famous.”

Johnny Manziel lost his NFL career—and nearly his life—to “get out of being Johnny Football.”
Johnny Manziel lost his NFL career—and nearly his life—to “get out of being Johnny Football.”

From then on, everything was different. Manziel was hanging out with celebrities like Drake and LeBron James before he was even 21. In violation of NCAA regulations at the time, he was flying to Miami for covert goods signing sessions and came back with hundreds of thousands of dollars crammed under his mattress.

Without a doubt, Manziel had several off-field distractions during his second and last season at Texas A&M. Nevertheless, he was a star on game days, performing well enough at the end of the season to come in fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

However, he told Insider that “a sense of joy” was absent “when I was at the top” throughout the entire time.

Manziel’s sadness only deepened once he was drafted into the NFL as a quarterback.
Manziel left College Station as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever wear maroon and white, despite the turbulence of his sophomore year, and that legacy made him a top prospect in the pros. With the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Manziel with the hopes that the 21-year-old would be the long-needed hero for their team.


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