Should Johnny Manziel Turn His Sights to the NFL?

By Marian Hinton

With every passing day, Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manizel, affectionately (and perhaps even caustically) known as Johnny Football, is finding himself in more and more trouble. With each new piece of information that comes out alleging that he may have taken money from an autograph broker in exchange for signing merchandise to be sold, it is becoming increasingly clear that the polarizing quarterback’s collegiate eligibility is in serious jeopardy.

Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem like Manziel even really cares about his future in college football. Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying he is intentionally sabotaging his opportunities, but it appears that playing football this season for the Aggies is simply not high on his list of priorities.

From his infamous “Bull**** like this is the reason I can’t wait to leave College Station,” tweet, to his getting sent home from the Manning camp earlier this summer, to his taking online courses in lieu of attending class, to his propensity to constantly find himself in the spotlight, it’s growing more evident that college just may not be for Johnny Football.

As a result, one has to wonder about his future. Would it be best for Manziel to forego his sophomore year and set his sights on the NFL?

Yes, it may seem like a silly idea, but hear me out.

After all, while no one can ever guess what the NCAA may or may not do, it will be very difficult for them to ignore the sources coming out of the woodwork claiming that Manziel accepted money in exchange for his autograph, which is an NCAA violation that could affect his status as an amateur athlete. Even if the NCAA doesn’t find fault, there is also the matter of the school itself issuing its own suspension while they await the NCAA’s verdict.

There is no telling how long of a suspension he might receive, if any, but one thing is clear; if he misses a substantial part of the season, which could very well be the case, then A&M’s national title hopes will have been dashed before they ever really began anyway.

Additionally, with the media circus surrounding him, it is impossible to believe that  this team will not be negatively affected in some way. Will his teammates, not to mention his coaches, grow tired of his act? Have they already? Will the locker room become divided? No one on the outside really knows, but I just don’t see how this debacle won’t cause some sort of distraction that will affect the team’s performance.

Lastly, after one of the best seasons ever by a college quarterback, it will be nearly impossible for Manziel to repeat, much less top his Heisman-winning season. Why not get out while he’s on top?

Of course, according to the rules of the game, Manziel is not eligible to play in the NFL until next season, but why not call it a day and spend the off-season doing whatever he can to ready himself for the 2014 Draft? He can work with the best quarterback coaches available with no outside distractions. He could even spend the time proving to scouts that he is capable of focusing solely on the game (if indeed he can). Staying out of the spotlight could be the best thing for Johnny Football’s future.

Sure it’s a long shot, and who knows if he’d ever really even consider it, but to be honest it isn’t as far-fetched an idea as it may first seem. I’m not saying it’s a wonderful idea, but if I’m Manziel, I am at least entertaining the thought.


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