Linebacker Karlos Dansby spent two years in Cleveland, where he played in 28 games and seemed to spend much of his free time defending the team's 2014 first-round pick, quarterback Johnny Manziel. Both Dansby and Manziel were released by the Browns this offseason, and while Dansby quickly signed with the Bengals, it's fair to assume that Manziel's NFL career could already be over.
Manziel's life can kindly be described as one big reality show, and Dansby, who at 34 is 11 years older than Manziel, admits that he wouldn't have been able to handle the scrutiny the former Heisman Trophy winner faced during two tumultuous NFL seasons.
"I probably would have committed suicide. Ain't no telling what would have took place," Dansby told The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday. "I couldn't handle none of it. Nobody in that building could handle any of that pressure that man was under.
"Because it's specifically for him, and that's how God designed it. That's his pressure, only he can handle that. You can only put so much on you that only you can handle. [God's] not going to give you more than you handle, so he can handle it, I couldn't handle it, and I told him that to his face. I couldn't handle what you're going through right now, I can't. I can't live that for you."
It's not clear Manziel could handle it either. He's been in the news constantly since the Browns dumped him, and it's always been for the wrong reasons. A brief history, via CBSSports.com's John Breech:
- He went to a club in Los Angeles.
- He went to another club in L.A. (He goes to a lot of clubs.)
- He hired a new agent because his old one fired him.
- He went to a club in Miami.
- He went to a Chris Brown concert in Vegas.
- He went to a club in Vegas.
- He went to another club in L.A.
- He got a tattoo.
- He spent some time with Justin Bieber.
- He did $32,000 in damage to a $4.5 million house.
- His new agent fired him and urged him to get treatment.
- He was the passenger in a hit-and-run.
- He watched the NFL Draft at a bar.
- He went to Coachella with Josh Gordon.
- He looked surprisingly thin at a Vegas pool party.
- He skipped a Hamptons party/helicopter ride and "allegedly evaded payment of car accident costs."
Meanwhile, Manziel's father said earlier this year that he doesn't expect his son to see another birthday unless he gets help. But Dansby admits that, even as a veteran player in the locker room, he didn't always feel it was his place to talk to Manziel about his behavior.
"It was just tough to really watch him go through that, but I had to step back and allow him to go through that, because it's going to propel him towards his destiny, whatever that may be," Dansby explained to Rome. "He's going to find it, you know what I'm saying. It's just going to take some time. He had to go through this to get to where he needs to be."
Dansby hasn't been in contact with Manziel but he maintains that he'll always be in the quarterback's corner.
"Man, Johnny is my guy," he said. "It's just a mutual respect thing and he knows I got his back. If he ever needs me, he knows I'm there for him, regardless. Whatever happens, whatever takes place, if he needs somebody, he can always holler. I got his back."