Johnny Manziel Says He Lost 40 Lbs. 'on a Strict Diet of Blow' After His NFL Dismissal in 2015

The Heisman Trophy winner looked back at the troubled chapter of his life in a conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the "Club Shay Shay" podcast

<p>Club Shay Shay/YouTube</p> Johnny Manziel

Club Shay Shay/YouTube

Johnny Manziel
  • Johnny Manziel said he resorted to drug use and lost 40 lbs. after the end of his NFL career

  • In a conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay podcast, the Heisman Trophy winner reflected on his past struggles

  • Manziel said he let down LeBron James and Drake, among others, and he apologized for his actions

Johnny Manziel is looking back on a chapter of his life in which he says he lost 40 lbs. while on "a strict diet of blow” and ignored LeBron James’ phone calls.

In a guest spot on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback revisited the troubled time after his exit from the NFL following the 2015 season.

“I was 210 lbs. when I left Cleveland, I was 170 lbs. sitting in Vegas that August, September, October,” Manziel, 31, said. “How do you lose 40 lbs.? You’re on a strict diet of blow.”

The Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t able to come to terms with his depression and drug use at the time, he said.

Related: Johnny Manziel Reveals Past Suicide Attempt After 'Ramped Up' Drug Abuse: 'I Just Felt Empty'

"At that point in time, man, I would look in a mirror and I didn't see myself any different than when I was in Cleveland,” he said. “Until I stepped on a scale at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, I didn't realize I had lost 40 pounds at all."

The quarterback was once the NFL’s shining star, but his struggles with sobriety led to being fired by his agent and then released by the Cleveland Browns.

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Andrew Weber/Getty Images Johnny Manziel
Andrew Weber/Getty Images Johnny Manziel

In his conversation with Sharpe, Manziel also took responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

“There were a lot of people that I let down,” Manziel said, referring to his longtime friendship with Drake and James. “And I truly feel like him and LeBron were people that I really really let down.”

Shortly after arriving in Cleveland after two years at Texas A&M, Manziel connected with the basketball star and his sports marketing guru-friend Maverick Carter.

Related: Johnny Manziel Says He's 'Closing the Chapter' on Football: ‘I Have So Much Life Left to Live’ (Exclusive)

Manziel was billed as the “biggest thing” to happen in the history of Cleveland sports, but the reality was far from that.

“What I did, and the way I carried myself, and the way that I was in my time in Cleveland was pure, blatant disrespect to them [James and Carter] giving me everything that I ever needed to be successful," he said.

And during the low times, Manziel recalled that he couldn’t shake his depression or adapt to the “fishbowl” aspect of the NFL limelight.

"LeBron would text me every week to come over to the house and watch a game or play poker with the boys and just tried to be there," Manziel said. "And I was so depressed for the first time in my life that even my biggest role model and inspiration in my life couldn't get me out of bed to come and hang out with him."

Now years later, Manziel said that over the last few months, he has turned his life around — and that he is “probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

“It’s easy to let ego and fame and stuff kind of creep back in,” he said. “I’ve insulated myself in a way with a team that I can trust people that I love that are doing nothing but looking out for my best wishes, best regards. They know me, they're not letting me cheat, they’re holding me accountable and it's not going to happen overnight. It is gonna be a slow, gradual process to get to where I want to be as a man."

He added: “I feel that I’m on the right path to where I need to go as Johnny Manziel, not as Johnny Football."

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