It’s been 51 weeks since the Browns pulled the plug on the Johnny Manziel experiment, and the parting of ways came less than two years after the team drafted him in the first round. At the time, Manziel suggested he wouldn’t be out of work long and his plans were to be on an NFL roster for the 2016 season. It didn’t happen, and instead, the former Heisman Trophy winner spent much of the summer partaking in non-football-related activities.
Things were so bad that, in February 2016, Manziel’s father admitted that jail might be the best place for his son.
It never came to that and now Manziel, 24, once again appears to be trying to get his life in order. On Tuesday, he told a Dallas County judge as much -- in the hopes of having a misdemeanor assault charge against him be dismissed. Manziel was charged last year after his ex-girlfriend accused him of kidnapping, beating and threatening to kill her.
In December, Manziel reached an agreement with prosecutors to dismiss his domestic-violence assault case involving his former girlfriend -- if he met certain conditions, including proof that he’d completed a substance-abuse program.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Judge Roberto Cañas told Manziel on Tuesday that he’s concerned the former NFL quarterback isn’t taking his conditional agreement seriously because he hasn’t updated the court about his progress.
“Not everybody who comes through here gets this kind of opportunity because right now, you’re in charge of what happens to your case,” Judge Cañas told Manziel. “If you decide not to follow the terms of the conditional dismissal, then basically what you’re saying to me is that you either want me to make a decision about your life, or you want six people whom you’ve never met to make a decision about your life,” the judge said.
Cañas then asked Manziel to assess the situation from his perspective.
“Everything has been going extremely smoothly and my life is trending upward,” Manziel began, “so I don’t even want to let this get anywhere near the rabbit hole that you were describing. This situation is in my hands ... I need to get my life in order. These are the things I need to do.”
If the case had gone to trial, Manziel would have faced a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine for the Class A misdemeanor.