Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2). UPI/David Tulis | License Photo
Embattled quarterback Johnny Manziel promised a judge that his life is "trending upward" on Tuesday despite recently missing a deadline for updating his progress on meeting conditions regarding his domestic violence case.
Manziel was warned by Dallas judge Roberto Canas that a jury trial might decide his fate if a November deal is revoked due to Manziel failing to meet the conditions.
The plea deal required Manziel to undergo counseling and have his conduct monitored by prosecutors. If he meets the conditions for one year, misdemeanor charges that he hit and threatened former girlfriend Colleen Crowley on Jan. 29, 2016, will be dismissed.
The charge carried a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Manziel is required to work through the NFL or another agency on a substance abuse program but the former Cleveland Browns quarterback told the judge he doesn't trust the NFL.
"I don't necessarily always believe in what the NFL does or have a lot of trust in them based on past situations, based on other players, how they got treated," Manziel told the judge. "So I was very cautious in that regard. Having this being involved with them was kind of a slippery thing with me."
Manziel was made aware in the days prior to the hearing by attorney Jim Darnell that the judge was displeased with the former Heisman Trophy winner for not having an update for how he was meeting the conditions.
"Since that day everything's been going extremely smoothly and my life is trending upward," Manziel said in a statement. "I don't even want to let this get anywhere near the rabbit hole that you were describing. I'm taking this responsibility. This is helping me get my life back together."
Manziel was suspended for four games last season for a substance abuse violation even though he wasn't under contract to an NFL team. The Browns released him last March, two years after drafting the former Texas A&M standout in the first round.
Judge Canas also admonished Manziel during the session.
"I have gotten pretty good at being able to tell when a guy is serious about his dismissal contract and guys who are, 'Eh, as soon as I walk out of court, forget that. I'll do that when I want to or I'll get around to it or when it's convenient for me,'" Canas said. "If there are any roots of that latter kind of message being planted in your brain, I want to dissuade you of that right now."