What Happened to Johnny Manziel? The Former NFL Star Makes Brave Health Admission

Devan McGuinness - Author

Aug. 7 2023, Updated 11:53 a.m. ET

Johnny Manziel
Source: Getty Images

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call, text, or message the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Dial or text 988, call 1-800-273-8255, or chat via their website.

As you may have heard, Johnny Manziel, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback, narrowly missed a stunt that could have ended in complete disaster. He is lucky he wasn’t injured after he went to dive off a cliff, and now everyone is talking about how fortunate it is that he’s OK.

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But there's actually more to his harrowing story. Read on for details on how Johnny is a survivor in more ways than one following being cut from the NFL team.

What happened to Johnny Manziel in 2020?

The former professional athlete posted a video clip to his Instagram account on May 11, 2020, with the caption "Flawless execution." The post contained a video on the first slide, along with four still-shot images from the video.

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In the video, Johnny is wearing what looks like swim shorts while standing at the top of a tall cliff at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, located near Phoenix, Ariz. It appears that he’s going to attempt to jump off the cliff when his foot slips on the rocks. Instead of a graceful and purposeful jump, Johnny awkwardly falls off the cliff. 

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Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that he hurt himself at all, instead, just laughing at his awkward mishap with his social media posting. People in the comments were worried for him and reminded him to be safe. 

"Jesus JM," one person writes. "Don’t break your neck." Another said, "B careful, my g."

And several other comments popped up, making jokes about how this fall was similar to his career. "Looks like your career," one comment read. Another said, "Went down about as fast at that NFL career." These comments may have especially hurt given what Johnny revealed about how he took being cut from the Browns in 2016.

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What happened to Johnny Manziel when he was cut from the Browns?

As the former quarterback bravely reveals in the Netflix documentary, Untold: Johnny Football, out on August 8, 2023, after abusing drugs and being accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, Johnny was cut from the NFL team that made him famous.

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According to ESPN, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was so distraught that he attempted to take his own life. Johnny explains in the documentary, "I had planned to do everything I wanted to do at that point in my life, spend as much money as I possibly could, and then my plan was to take my life. I wanted to get as bad as humanly possible to where it made sense, and it made it seem like an excuse and an out for me."

Johnny bought a gun to carry out his suicide attempt, but thankfully, it didn't work: "Still, to this day, don't know what happened. But the gun just clicked on me," he said in the documentary.

He's since gone on to do other things with his life since this awful time, which included a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

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What has Johnny Manziel been up to since leaving the NFL?

As fans know, Johnny was a former first-round pick for the NFL, landing a spot as the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. He only ended up playing in 15 games, making eight starts, during his two seasons playing professionally.

Following his NFL career ending, he did a brief stint in Canada with their CFL league, eventually signing a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was pretty quickly traded to Montreal and played a total of eight games with them, and his career there fizzled out pretty fast.

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Since being out of football, Johnny is working on commercials as a spokesperson for Direct Auto Insurance. Other than that, it’s not known whether he will expand his work on TV and commercials, if he will find his way back to football, or if he will go a completely different direction – but we wish him the best.

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