The most interesting things that Johnny Manziel said on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast

Johnny Football reveals much about his career in College Station and the NFL in a new podcast episode.

Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; SEC Network announcer Johnny Manziel looks on prior to the SEC
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; SEC Network announcer Johnny Manziel looks on prior to the SEC / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel speaks about his depression in Cleveland, takes Sumlin to task on Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast

One of the most decorated players in recent history for Texas A&M football, Johnny Manziel had a spectacular fall from grace once he reached the NFL. That, of course, is old news by now—but there has been a renewed interest in Manziel and his college career following last fall’s “Untold: Johnny Football” documentary.

Though that documentary was released months ago, the interest in Manziel is still enough to command the public’s attention. This is demonstrated by the fact that a podcast appearance by Johnny Football on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay,” released yesterday, already has more than 350,000 views.

On this podcast, Manziel opens up further about many of the things that went on in both his college and professional careers, revealing several details that were previously unknown. Here are some of the highlights.

Manziel says at one point that his father, unbeknownst to the star quarterback, approached Kevin Sumlin late in what would be Johnny’s final year in College Station. In a proposed “backroom deal,” as Sharpe put it, he asked Sumlin for $3mm for Johnny to stay for two more years. Sumlin, according to Johnny, laughed that request off. 

Manziel compared that to what had happened a year prior, when Kingsbury had asked Sumlin for a raise in order to “run it back” with the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman. Sumlin similarly dismissed that proposition.

In an interesting tidbit, Johnny also mentioned how instrumental he was in the recruitment of Kyler Murray, and how he still had “very mixed feelings” about how that panned out. There’s no doubt that this was an extreme bungling of what had been a very promising situation by coach Sumlin; even Daylon Mack, who stayed with the Aggies into Fisher’s first year in College Station, said that he, while upset, was unsurprised that Murray ended up transferring given the mismanagement of the room.

Some quick hitters:

  • Manziel opined that he could have made more than $10mm in NIL money.
  • He spoke about how LeBron was texting him “weekly” in Cleveland to come hang out, but he was too depressed to even meet up with one of his biggest role models.
  • He also spoke about how the shame he felt for letting guys like LeBron down, who believed in and supported him, would keep him up night after night.

Overall, it’s a very telling and interesting interview. Johnny speaks with conviction about several things; it’s hard to tell sometimes what may be embellishment and what may be truth, but he definitely gives the impression of a guy who has done a lot of self-reflection. In my opinion, he still seems to be in process about a lot of things; he tells certain stories still with a sense of pride, but will turn around and talk about how destructive a given experience was.

This is a podcast well worth a listen for any Texas A&M football fan, or anyone interested in Johnny Manziel’s story. Sharpe does a good job covering all the bases and asking about every point of interest for fans then and now.