Manziel apologizes to fans, takes responsibility for actions

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel wants Browns fans to know he is sorry and taking accountability for his past.

Manziel released a statement through the team Friday morning, which said in full:

"I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates and Browns fans everywhere for your patience, understanding and support during my stay at Caron. The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I’ve learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous.

I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down. I take full responsibility for my actions and it’s my intention to work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say. I also understand there’s a lot of curiosity about this but anyone who has a friend or family member that’s been through things like this knows it’s an ongoing process. I’m going to continue to ask folks to try to respect my privacy as I determine to what degree I am comfortable talking about a subject which I consider very personal.

Most of you have been considerate about that and I thank you for it. I look forward to seeing my teammates next week and focusing on football and my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be."

Caron is a Pennsylvania facility which specializes in the treatment of drugs and alcohol. Manziel was discharged on April 11 and has not publicly disclosed what he sought treatment for.

Manziel was allowed to leave the facility during his stay and he played golf in Louisiana with his father and visited patients in a hospital as part of his program. Since leaving Caron, Manziel was spotted at a Texas Rangers game Wednesday night, followed by a visit to see the Dallas Mavericks play.


Manziel, who earned his "Johnny Football" nickname while winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M, intends to attend Cleveland’s offseason practices next week. The 22-year-old knows there will be continued interest in his comeback.

Manziel had a rough rookie season in 2014 after he was drafted with the No. 22 overall pick by the Browns. Manziel spent most of it as the team’s backup before making two starts and playing poorly. He was injured in Cleveland’s game at Carolina, then fined after he missed a treatment.

Following the season, Manziel acknowledged he didn’t take his job as seriously as he needed to, and vowed to work harder in the offseason. He checked into rehab less than a month later.

The Browns have remained supportive during his ordeal. Owner Jimmy Haslam and coach Mike Pettine have indicated Manziel will have a chance to win the starting job in training camp, but Manziel is not guaranteed anything. The Browns signed 11-year veteran quarterback Josh McCown as a free agent. The team also has two first-round draft picks and could position itself to take Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Browns Pro Bowl tackled Joe Thomas said earlier this week that Manziel needs to prove to his teammates that he is willing to commit to football as the most important thing in his life.

"There was some doubt based on what he did last year if football was the most important thing," Thomas said when the Browns unveiled new uniforms this week. "It matters about showing up, practicing hard, taking the film study seriously, committing yourself to the meetings and playing on Sundays."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.