News that a Dallas County grand jury has indicted former Cleveland Brows quarterback Johnny Manziel on 'misdemeanour assault and bodily injury' charges broke on Sunday night.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner is accused of repeatedly hitting his ex-girlfriend while driving his car and then dragging her back into the vehicle when she tried to escape.
Manziel, who has been linked with the Dallas Cowboys, was left without a team for the upcoming season when he was cut by the Browns in March after two tumultuous seasons in Ohio.
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In two years at the franchise, the former Texas A&M ace started just eight games and threw as many interceptions as he did touchdown passes (seven), while making more headlines off the field than on it.
The situation has now gone for bad to worse for the 23-year-old, with the likelihood being that he will end up serving jail time if he's found guilty.
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While waiting to hear whether he would be charged, Manziel and friends reportedly caused $32,000 worth of damage to a rental house in Los Angeles. Real estate broker Nicholas Goodwin described the scene, according to Bleacher Report.
He said: "They were supposed to check out at 12 but Manziel was passed out. There was cocaine all over the table and mushrooms were still out on the table in front of him.
"There was booze everywhere, broken glasses all over the floor and a champagne glass in a tree. If they don't respond to our demand for compensation we will sue."
News of the indictment compounds a terrible few weeks for the Texas-born star. First he lost his biggest marketing deal with shoe giant Nike and then publishers Panini also terminated his contract.
Last week Manziel was fired by his second agent in a month. It's hardly surprising that nobody wants to be associated with a sportsman seemingly intent on self-destruction.
Sadly it seems that alcohol has played a large part in the quarterback's downfall. Perhaps its his way of coping with the pressures that fame inevitably brings.
Last February he checked into a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism, but according to his father Paul, he refused to stay.
"I truly believe if they can't get him help, Johnny won't live to see his 24th birthday," Paul Manziel told the Dallas Morning News.
It seems almost inconceivable that less than two years ago Manziel was selected as a first round pick in the NFL draft. How can such a promising career evaporate so quickly?
The shock of a spell behind bars may actually give the troubled virtuoso a moment of clarity. His family will be hoping that's the case because otherwise Manziel's future looks bleak.
There's no doubting that his talent which saw him break so many records in college football remains. It's a case of whether the desire to succeed does too.
In the NFL there is usually a franchise owner willing to take a punt on a fallen star. There won't be many bigger risks than a sportsman with a drug and alcohol problem, but the potential rewards might just be tempting enough.
Sadly however it looks like we've probably seen the last of Manziel in the NFL for the time being. Hopefully he can overcome his addictions before too long and eventually get his career back on track.
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