A few short years ago, Johnny Manziel was a promising young quarterback at Texas A & M. A Heisman winner, Manziel's decline began before he was even drafted as teams had questions about his character and off-field issues. His draft report on NFL.com noted some glaring weaknesses:
Suspect intangibles -- not a leader by example or known to inspire by his words. Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood. Is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game.
Manziel now has two NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns under his belt, and scouts fears have played out in the worst possible way. After a stint in rehab during the off season and continued antics during the 2015 season, Manziel seems to have reached an all-time low.
On Friday it was announced that police would launch a criminal investigation related to an altercation he had with his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, on January 30 when he allegedly hit her several times during an argument. According to reports, he appeared to be on drugs and fled on foot after the incident, prompting a helicopter search for him by the Fort Worth police.
Crowley initially did not cooperate with a criminal investigation, but apparently has had a change of heart. It is common for victims of domestic violence to become uncooperative during investigations as the Dallas police noted in a statement detailing the latest developments.Following yesterday's release, today the Dallas Police Department received a complaint of a domestic violence assault that occurred in Dallas on January 30, 2016. A criminal investigation into the incident, in which Johnathan Manziel is the listed suspect, has been initiated. Detectives will thoroughly investigate the case to determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed and victim services will be offered.
As there are many emotional factors involved, it is not uncommon for a victim of domestic violence to question or delay reporting an assault. This is an on-going investigation and updates will be made as information becomes available.
There are also rumors that Manziel threatened to kill himself and his girlfriend, acccording to WFAA.com. His behavior has been so troubling that his father attempted to have him admitted to a psychiatric facility earlier in the week. Paul Manziel told the Dallas Morning News, "I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday." His agent also parted ways with Manziel, even though he is about to be a free agent pending his release by the Cleveland Browns.
In October, Manziel was involved in a similar incident with then-girlfriend Crowley who alleged at the time that Manziel had hit her several times and that she was afraid for her life, assertions that were recorded by the police dash-cam, Paul Kruger, Manziel's teammate, even arrived on the scene, but was sent away by an angry Manziel. Police in Ohio, where the incident occurred, did not pursue criminal charges and let the couple leave the scene together even though Crowley had friction burns on her wrist from Manziel attempting to restrain her.
After that incident, league chose not to suspend Manziel, even though according to its own policy it has tremendous flexibility when it comes to personal conduct violations.
An individual may be put on paid leave if formally charged with a violent crime or sexual assault, or if the NFL investigation finds sufficient credible evidence that it appears a violation of the (personal conduct) policy has occurred. Paid leave will last until the completion of the NFL investigation or disposition of a criminal charge.
Though he wasn't suspended for that incident, his team did bench him after he was caught partying in November. Analysts noted the team's odd priorities:
Can't help but find it odd Browns now draw the line at going to a club, vs. the incident w/his girlfriend and police just a few weeks ago— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 24, 2015
It appears Manziel's downward spiral has continued. Now, "off-field antics" is a woefully inadequate descriptor of this latest development. There could be legal consequences for Manziel's recent actions, but hopefully there will also be consequences from the NFL as well.