Posted on August 10, 2016, by Travis Pulver

A few weeks ago, former Cleveland Browns quarterback claimed that he would being going completely sober as of July 1 and would be getting serious about working his way back into the NFL. Most fans didn’t believe him and took his proclamation as an excuse to bash him once again.

Few fans took him seriously but hoped he was indeed serious. Their belief was bolstered by what appeared to be an apology from Manziel and pledge to get his act together in response to a tweet that included a highlight from his A&M days (SportsDay):

chills* I love A&M with all my heart I’m truly sorry. I’ll do whatever I can to make it right.I’m an AGGGIE for life

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Via Bradthunder.com

Via Bradthunder.com

Okay. Sounds promising, right?

Of course, there is still his domestic violence case that has to play out, a four-game suspension, and he will need to do something about the perception that he is a hard-core party machine that can’t stop drinking (or using drugs–if he is using). It’s his life, so he can do with it what he wishes, but if he wants to get back in the NFL, Manziel will have to convince someone that he is willing to do whatever it takes to earn a roster spot.

For Manziel, part of what it will take is proving he can clean up his act away from football. Step one—stop drinking.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if he is getting plastered, rip-roaring, pass-out drunk, just buzzing, or enjoying a single drink and in complete control of his faculties. Every time he is seen drinking, the worse is going to be assumed.

No team is going to want to deal with the media storm that will come with every time he has a drink. So it’s a good thing he is going sober, right? Now if only he were serious…

Over the weekend, Manziel was spotted out on the town in New York City. The New York Post is reporting that he was spotted having dinner at Tao with Jason Derulo, Philipp Plein, Alec Monopoly and Jonathan Cheban before heading to Marquee. During the night, he was spotted drinking but wasn’t “messy.”

According to an insider that spoke with the Post:

“He doesn’t want to sit at home in his hotel room. He enjoys seeing his friends. Some of them are in nightlife and entertainment.”

“He knows he’s hit rock bottom, and he’s giving himself a year to get sober and get ready for football. He wants to play again,” said the pal. “He really wants to turn things around and make people proud of him again. It’s not going to end this way. He really wants to make that effort. He knows what he’s gifted with … The spotlight got to him.”

That’s fair, and he shouldn’t have to feel like he needs to stay in his hotel room, but Manziel should also realize that it would be better if he was seen sipping on soda rather than an anything with alcohol in it. When you say you are going completely sober by a certain date, that means no drinking after that date.

He was spotted at another establishment enjoying what someone told the Post was a rum and Coke and a few shots. When asked about his client drinking, Manziel’s attorney called it “the dumbest story I think I have ever heard.”

What his attorney fails to realize is the perception that exists whenever his client is seen holding an alcoholic beverage. People—and especially NFL owners, coaches, and general managers—will assume the worst. If Manziel actually wants back in the NFL, he is going to have to give them a reason not to.

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