Earl Campbell weighs in on Johnny Manziel: 'We gotta get him some help'

Twelve months ago, Johnny Manziel was in a treatment facility. He'd spend 10 weeks there and when he emerged, teammates said he was a different person. But after another tumultuous season -- one that included plenty of off-field controversy -- the Manziel era in Cleveland is over.

The team will almost certainly release him next month and it's unclear if he'll even play football in 2016. Manziel's father says his son won't see his 24th birthday if he doesn't get help, and players -- both current and past -- have publicly offered their support. That includes Houston Oilers great and Hall of Famer Earl Campbell, who last played in the NFL in 1985.

“We gotta get him some help,” Campbell told ESPN. “I know everybody says that, but if you’ve never been there, how can you listen to someone? I think some former Heisman winners like myself, some Hall of Famers that have done it all, he should sit down and listen to what we have to say because we’ve been through it all.”

In addition to a Heisman, Campbell and Manziel are both from Tyler, Texas. Campbell played at the University of Texas and Manziel, whose family moved from Tyler to Kerrville during his seventh-grade year, went to Texas A&M.

"I'm like everybody else that lives in Texas," Campbell continued. "I'm disappointed, I'm upset a little bit. But I think at some point, you have to say everybody was that age at one time and we have to get back to what's important.

What's next for Johnny Manziel? (USATSI)
What's next for Johnny Manziel? (USATSI)

"... I would tell him that I used to be 23 years old. At one point I had Texas in the palm of my hand as far as an athlete. At a very young age, my mother said it's not so important what you do now, it's what you do over your lifetime. Johnny's gonna be just like me eventually. He's going to sit down and have a chance to sit down and talk to people. Is he going to be remembered for [his problems] or is he going to be remembered for a guy that did like Von Miller. Got up off the carpet and did something about it."

Incidentally, Miller, who also went to A&M, offered Manziel some heartfelt advice shortly after the Broncos won the Super Bowl.

"Johnny Man, you know its a hard time," the linebacker said. "I've been in the same situation. Just keep grinding. I'm here with you, brother. Keep grinding, you too can do it ... I love you."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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