More than two months after announcing sobriety, Johnny Manziel is living in the San Diego area while training with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield in hopes of making a return to professional football.
“Football is his absolute focus right now,” said Denise Michaels, Manziel’s publicist.
Michaels declined specifics on any potential NFL team workouts for Manziel, who was linked to the New Orleans Saints in an NFL Network report.
Manziel worked exclusively with Whitfield — whose client list includes Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger — during the pre-draft process in 2014. The two remain close friends. Manziel spends the majority of his time in California and returns to his native Texas on occasion.
Manziel, who is engaged to model Bre Tiesi, told ESPN’s Ed Werder on Jan. 20 that he achieved sobriety without seeking professional help. Since then, Manziel has posted several Instagram pictures of himself in football settings.
Prior to the 2015 season, Manziel spent 10 weeks in a treatment facility in Eastern Pennsylvania. His two-year stint with the Cleveland Browns, who drafted him out of Texas A&M, ended with eight starts, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and several off-field issues, including being late for meetings or missing treatments.
If Manziel returns to the NFL, he would be subject to the league’s personal conduct policy because of a domestic violence case with an ex-girlfriend. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges, but the incident was emblematic of his 2016 spiral precipitated by off-field concerns.