Johnny Manziel's status as campus celebrity and party god at Texas A&M was legendary. Within the Aggies' sphere, there was nothing he could do wrong as long as he won games and generated the school a ton of money of course. A coach is likely go easy on the guy who was the primary factor in getting his coaching salary doubled. Leading up to the draft, this type of coddled, devil may care attitude was exactly what had caused teams to think twice taking him. By all reports and interviews it had seemed that his partying days were behind him and that he was a much more mature young man than he was just months before.
It is now apparent that his party lifestyle has not faded into the memory of his college days. In fact in some respects it is more wild than ever now that he has more famous friends and millions to spend. Since being drafted, Johnny has been seen chugging a bottle of champagne in Austin, making a drunk video while partying with Drake in Houston, and partying in Vegas with Rob Gronkowski.
Does this type of behavior make him a statistical outlier relative to all the straight laced, boring players that compose the NFL? Of course not. This is a bit of what the NFL culture is all about. These are kids right out of college making a lot of money to play a game.
"I just really think Johnny needs to maybe check his friends a little bit," teammate Joe Haden told WKNR-AM on Friday, "Everybody's going to go out, everybody's going to have a good time. But you've got to make sure when you're with your people it just doesn't get out."
"Everybody has fun, trust me, everybody does. But everybody's not Johnny Football. So I think you're kind of like 'C'mon Johnny, you represent. You're going to have a good time for sure, nobody has a problem with it. But just try to have fun without the whole world knowing," Haden continued.
Yes, these players like to party and have a good time. There are enormous personalities and egos in the league that very much live up to the work hard, play hard cliche. The key here is being able to live that life during the off-time and when it comes to game time, that player has to deliver. If you can win games, nothing else matters. If you can't win games, well it doesn't matter because you will be a backup and it won't likely matter what you do in your off-time anyways.
So has Johnny Manziel matured? Of course not. The Cleveland Browns knew that all along. He was just telling teams what he thought they wanted to hear. They know that most rookies are immature and they knew that Manziel could party and still deliver in college on game day. The Browns were banking on him being able to step up and deliver on Sunday whether he was mature or not.