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Manziel says he attempted suicide after ‘bender’

Jake TrotterESPN Staff WriterAug 4, 2023, 12:26 PM ET2 Minute Read

In a new documentary, Johnny Manziel says he attempted suicide after the Cleveland Browns cut him in 2016.

In Netflix’s “Untold: Johnny Football,” the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said following the 2015 season, he began using OxyContin and cocaine daily, according to multiple reports. Manziel also admitted he dropped from 215 pounds in January to 175 in September.

Manziel faced a misdemeanor assault charge after being accused of hitting and threatening his then-girlfriend in January 2016. His lawyers reached an agreement with officials to dismiss the charge upon set conditions.

The Browns cut Manziel in March 2016.

Manziel says in the documentary, according to multiple reports, that he was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that he refused to enter rehab and he began self-sabotaging — going on a “$5 million bender” before attempting to end his life.

“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,” Manziel says in the documentary, according to multiple reports. “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.”

Manziel said he had purchased a gun “months earlier” with the plan to use it to carry out death by suicide, but when he pulled the trigger, the gun malfunctioned.

“Still to this day, don’t know what happened. But the gun just clicked on me,” he says in the documentary, according to multiple reports.

Manziel’s relationship with his family became strained, in part because he refused to seek treatment. After the suicide attempt, he left Los Angeles and returned to his family’s home in Texas.

“It’s been a long, long road, and I don’t know if it’s been great or it’s been bad. That’s kind of still up for debate,” his father, Paul Manziel, says in the documentary, according to multiple reports. “But we’re blessed. And he’s still with us. And we can mend all the fences still. I think Johnny’s got a lot better days coming than what he’s had.”

Manziel was a first round pick of the Browns in 2014 after a standout career at Texas A&M.

“Untold: Johnny Football” is scheduled for release on Netflix on Tuesday.

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