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Erik Burkhardt, Johnny Manziel's agent, cuts ties with Browns QB

By The Sports Xchange
Erik Burkhardt, Johnny Manziel's agent, cuts ties with Browns QB
Johnny Manziel's agent, Erik Burkhardt, has parted ways with the embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback in the wake of the latest incident involving his former girlfriend at a Dallas hotel last Saturday. File Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

The agent for Johnny Manziel has parted ways with the embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback in the wake of the latest incident where he allegedly hit his former girlfriend at a Dallas hotel last Saturday.

In a statement released Friday, agent Erik Burkhardt said he made the decision after discussions with Manziel, his family and his doctors.

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"It is with deep regret that, after several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, his doctors and my client himself, I have made the decision to terminate my professional relationship with Johnny Manziel," Burkhardt said.

"Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter, and he knows I have worked tirelessly to arrange a number of professional options for him to continue to pursue, it has become painfully obvious that his future rests solely in his own hands. His family and I have gone to great lengths to outline the steps we feel he must take to get his life in order. Accountability is the foundation of any relationship, and without it, the function of my work is counterproductive.

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"I truly wish the best for Johnny and sincerely hope he can, and will, find the kind of peace and happiness he deserves."

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Colleen Crowley, who dated Manziel for two years before a December breakup, told police that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner ordered her to "shut up or I'll kill us both" before dragging her into his car, pulling her by the hair and driving back to her Fort Worth apartment while striking her several more times.

She also told police that Manziel appeared to be under the influence of drugs but said he was not drunk.

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According to reports, Crowley continues to fear for her safety and will seek court protection from Manziel.

Manziel later told TMZ Sports that "it didn't happen. I'm completely stable. I'm safe and secure.''

Manziel's father, Paul Manziel, told WFAA television station in Dallas: "We're trying to get our son better. We're not there yet."

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Manziel will not be charged and investigations by Dallas and Fort Worth police are closed, according to statements from both departments.

On Tuesday, the Browns responded after Manziel's latest off-the-field incident.

"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field," Browns executive vice president for football operations Sashi Brown said. "Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time."

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Multiple reports indicate that Manziel will be waived March 9 when the new league year begins.

WFAA reported details of the alleged assault that started in Manziel's hotel room in Dallas and escalated early Saturday morning.

Crowley had spent Friday evening with friends before meeting Manziel in his hotel room. The two then argued over another girl and Manziel wouldn't let Crowley leave on her own when she tried. Manziel led her down a back stairway to a valet area.

"I was crying and begged the valet, 'Please don't let him take me. I'm scared for my life!'" she told police.

According to WFAA, Manziel drove Crowley to her car, and she said she jumped out, but he found her hiding in some bushes.

"He grabbed me by my hair and threw me back into the car and got back in himself," she told police. "He hit me with his open hand on my left ear for jumping out of the car. I realized immediately that I could not hear out of that ear, and I still cannot today, two days later."

Crowley said she hit Manziel while trying to escape from the car, but he drove her back to her apartment in Fort Worth. She claims he told her that he was going to drop her off and then "go kill himself." Crowley also said at one point he yelled, "Shut up or I'll kill us both."

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After arriving at the apartment, the two allegedly continued to argue. Crowley said she tried to contact her parents via computer when Manziel went outside, but he came back in and discovered what she was trying to do.

"I was in my kitchen, so out of fear for my life, I pulled a knife out of my knife block and advanced toward him," Crowley told police. "He ran out of the apartment."

According to the report, Crowley went to a nearby home to seek help and Manziel fled the scene on foot.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is aware of the report and will continue the investigation that began last Saturday.

The Browns selected Manziel with the No. 22 pick in the 2014 draft. Cleveland has the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Manziel reportedly was in Las Vegas on the Saturday night before the Browns' final regular-season game despite being in the NFL's concussion protocol that sidelined him for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed his mandatory concussion treatment on gameday at the team's facility and was fined.

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Manziel was videotaped drinking, including on Christmas Eve, during the season. He spent 73 days in inpatient addiction-rehab center in the offseason.

Less than a week after being named the Browns' starter in mid-November, another video surfaced online of Manziel holding a bottle at an Austin, Texas, club during the team's bye week. Manziel was demoted to the third string for the next game.

Manziel, 23, finished his second season with 1,500 passing yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in nine appearances (six starts) and a passer rating of 79.4. He rushed for 230 yards.

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