Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has entered treatment. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer first reported the news, and then the following statements were released from Manziel's camp and Browns GM Ray Farmer:
Statement from Brad Beckworth, a Friend and Advisor to
Johnny Manzieland his Family
Brad Beckworth, a friend and advisor to Manziel and his family, has confirmed that Johnny entered treatment on Wednesday. "Johnny knows there are areas he needs to improve on to help him be a better family member, friend and teammate, so he decided to take this step in his life during the offseason. On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland."
Statement from Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer on Johnny Manziel
"We respect Johnny's initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players' health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player. Johnny's privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same."
Right now, it sounds like Manziel entered the program voluntarily, but that would still mean that he'd be a part of stage one the NFL's substance abuse policy, as Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland pointed out.
And no, I have no information on whether Manziel violated a rule and went to rehab before being busted by the league— LA - theOBR (@LaneAdkins) February 2, 2015
By entering treatment facility, Johnny Manziel will be referred to Stage 1 of NFL substance abuse program, per terms of league policy.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) February 2, 2015
We can only hope this is a positive sign for Manziel. However, rehab isn't some guaranteed cure-all to turn Manziel into the type of person who fans and the organization want him to be. I think the team will still undoubtedly look to add a quarterback who could start this season, whether that be Brian Hoyer, somebody else in free agency, or a player in the draft.