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Johnny Manziel quickly rose to prominence with his improbable Heisman Trophy victory as a freshman at Texas A&M, and the spotlight became even more intense when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.

But Manziel exited the NFL after two seasons and 14 games into his career. He went 2-6 in eight starts and had 1,675 passing yards, seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He was fired after the 2016 season.

In the weeks and months after his cut, Manziel appeared noticeably thinner. The former NFL quarterback opened up about his weight loss on a recent episode of Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast.

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Johnny Manziel vs Chiefs

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (James Allison/Sportswire Icon)

“I was 210 pounds when I left Cleveland. I was 170 pounds sitting in Las Vegas in August, September, October, whatever later that year,” he told the Super Bowl champion. “How do you lose 40 pounds? You’re on a strict crash diet.

“At that moment, man, I looked in the mirror and I didn’t look any different than when I was in Cleveland. It wasn’t until I got on a scale at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas that I realized I’d lost 40 pounds.”

Johnny Manziel in the FCFL

Johnny Manziel of the Zappers shoots against the Glacier Boyz during a fan-controlled football game at Infinite Energy Arena on February 20, 2021, in Duluth, Georgia. (Kevin C. Cox/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images)

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The former quarterback said he went from cocaine to Oxycontin, mushrooms and generally harder drugs.

“They were very tumultuous in my life and they reared their heads, especially on the days they were wandering around the Hollywood Hills.”

Manziel added that he couldn’t overcome his depression or find his way amid the pressures and expectations that came with being in the NFL.

Johnny Manziel at the Texas A&M game

Johnny Manziel during the first half of a game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Kyle Field on September 16, 2023, in College Station, Texas. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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He said he now feels like he can enjoy his life being Johnny Manziel instead of “Johnny Football.”

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By Sam