Johnny Manziel's father: 'If he can't get help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday'
Johnny Manziel’s father fears that if his son doesn’t receive help, he won’t make it to his next birthday.
Manziel’s father Paul told the Dallas Morning News that the Browns quarterback has twice refused to go to rehab in the past week, and said: “I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday.” Manziel turns 24 in December.
Paul Manziel’s comments came as Erik Burkhardt, Johnny Manziel’s agent, announced that he was cutting ties with the Cleveland star. “It is with deep regret that, after several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, his doctors and my client himself, I have made the decision to terminate my professional relationship with Johnny Manziel,” Burkhardt said in a statement.
Paul Manziel said the family tried to encourage his son to enter a local addiction facility on Saturday, but Manziel refused to stay. Paul Manziel said he tried to have his son admitted to a hospital on Tuesday, but Manziel was allowed to leave.
The first attempt to get Manziel to enter rehab, his father said, came on Saturday afternoon after news surfaced of a police investigation into an altercation between Manziel and his ex-girlfriend the night before. According to police, Manziel and his ex-girlfriend were at a hotel in downtown Dallas and left together after he struck her. The ex-girlfriend told officers that she and Manziel shouted angrily at each other and that he struck her several more times on the drive to her apartment in Fort Worth.
Police did not charge Manziel, and now consider the matter closed.
Earlier this week, the Browns said they would address Manziel’s status “when permitted by league rules”.
“Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter, and he knows I have worked tirelessly to arrange a number of professional options for him to continue to pursue, it has become painfully obvious that his future rests solely in his own hands. His family and I have gone to great lengths to outline the steps we feel he must take to get his life in order. Accountability is the foundation of any relationship, and without it, the function of my work is counterproductive,” Burkhardt continued.
“I truly wish the best for Johnny and sincerely hope he can, and will, find the kind of peace and happiness he deserves.”
Multiple reports have indicated that the Browns plan to release Manziel in March.
Burkhardt negotiated Manziel’s four-year rookie contract worth $7.07m in guarantees, and he also handled Manziel’s endorsement deals coming out of college, which were worth multiple millions over time. Before his rookie season, Manziel signed deals with Nissan, Nike, McDonald’s and Panini America.
Manziel and Burkhardt had a mutual connection through Manziel’s former offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, Kliff Kingsbury, who is represented by Burkhardt.