Exiled former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel worked out in front of scouts at the University of San Diego’s pro day Thursday.
The appearance marked the first time the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has thrown the ball publicly in front of NFL teams since going 2-4 in six starts with the Cleveland Browns in 2015. Manziel was cut by the Browns in 2016 after two tumultuous seasons that were marred by inconsistent play and his arrest on domestic violence charges. Per SECcountry.com, “Johnny Football” drew quite the crowd, which reportedly included personnel from 13 NFL teams.
But whether or not Manziel’s workout was more of an audition for a possible return to the NFL than him simply lending his services remains to be seen. Video of the session seems to indicate that Manziel’s physical skills haven’t experienced much drop-off, if any at all. In the 30-plus passes Manziel threw, the quick release and the velocity he had on the ball in Cleveland were still intact. And his movement in the pocket seemed as crisp and agile as ever.
However, he biggest question for NFL teams would likely be Manziel’s mental health. The former Texas A&M superstar revealed last month that he’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That’s in addition to his struggles with alcohol, which he detailed in an interview with Good Morning America in February.
In 14 appearances with the Browns in 2014 and 2015, Manziel completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards and 7 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. He also rushed for 259 yards and 1 touchdown.