Johnny Manziel's father says he believes embattled Browns quarterback is 'suicidal'

By Alex Butler   |   Feb. 5, 2016 at 6:13 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- It has not been a happy new year for controversial Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

After a dreadful 2015 season on the football field, Manziel is now facing expulsion from the team over new allegations that he physically abused and threatened his former girlfriend.

The new accusations have prompted Manziel's agent and his team to cut ties with the former Texas A&M standout. Friday, his father joined the discussion out of grave concern for Manziel

"I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday," Paul Manziel told The Dallas Morning News Friday.

Paul Manziel said the quarterback twice declined admittance to area rehab facilities last week. It was on Tuesday when Manziel tried to get his son, 23, into Carrollton Springs Hospital.

The elder Manziel also told a Denton County police officer that he believes his son is "suicidal," according to the Morning News.

The star's agent, Erik Burkhardt, abruptly cut ties with Manziel Friday.

"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.

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

However, the Heisman Trophy winner told TMZ Sports this week that he is "stable."

"I'm completely stable," Manziel said. "I'm safe and secure."

Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown spoke about the distraction on Tuesday.

"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field," he said in a team statement. "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."

Manziel's ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, told police that Manziel told her to "shut up or I'll kill us both" after forcing her into a car in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, "hitting her, and dragging her by the hair," according to News 8 WFAA.

Crowley has also said that Manziel struck her multiple times in a Jan. 30 dispute. The couple split in December.

ESPN's Pat McManamon reported that the Browns plan to release Manziel on March 9.

The team could officially release him anytime after Sunday, but that would cost the team $4.6 million against the salary cap, which will increase in March.

Manziel completed 57 percent of his throws in 2015, threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, while compiling a 2-6 record as Cleveland's starting quarterback.

Drafted by the franchise in 2014, Manziel signed a four-year, $8 million deal, which included nearly $7 million in guaranteed money. He is due $1.1 million in 2016, nearly $1.3 million next season, and has a club option in 2018.

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