Johnny Manziel, 23, is technically an adult, and technically, adults can enjoy Justin Bieber's music now that he, too, is technically an adult at 22.
As a legally recognized adult, Manziel is free to make his own decisions, visit bars and attend Bieber concerts. The problem is, Manziel is also ostensibly a professional football player -- currently an unemployed one -- and he's been spotted at more bars, parties and music festivals this offseason than gyms or practice fields.
Seeing a picture of Manziel at a bar has lost its OMG, look what he's doing! thrill, because they're ubiquitous at this point. But on Thursday night, the latest shot of Manziel hunched over a bar stool feels representative of how far he's fallen as a football player. A Twitter user spotted Manziel ordering drinks at a Columbus, Ohio bar, while watching Thursday night's NFL Draft -- the same NFL offseason spectacle that made Manziel the belle of the ball just two years ago.
The former Heisman Trophy winner was at the top of the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' wishlist during the 2014 Draft, but ended up as the Cleveland Browns' first round pick. He did his "Money Manziel" gesture onstage, and everything felt great.
Fast forward two years, and Manziel finds himself jobless, watching the NFL Draft from a bar stool like a lumpy fan instead of sending "welcome to the team!" congratulatory text messages to the Browns' new draft picks. And instead of possibly meeting with this hypothetical new teammates, he spent the night at a Bieber concert -- his second in three days -- and later at a nearby club.
Naturally, the Manziel-led after party was a loud one. According to TMZ, he hit up Dahlia Bar and Lounge in Columbus. When Future's "Wicked" came on, Manziel, clearly in the kind of mood Future's turn-up music gets people in, grabbed the DJ mic and ordered 300 shots of Fireball whiskey for the people.
Manziel has displayed troublesome drinking habits before, so it's difficult to find much amusement in a semi-famous person partying themselves into, well, wherever they land. And in Manziel's case, his crash landing might be in jail. On Tuesday, the same day of the first Bieber concert of Manziel's week, he was officially indicted by a Dallas grand jury on assault charges stemming from a January domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend.
Manziel has gone from a 2014 first round NFL Draft pick to a man with millions of dollars whose life is essentially an ongoing bender.
"The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago," Manziel said to reporters in July 2014 after he was reportedly hungover during Peyton Manning's football camp."I guess I feel like Justin Bieber or something. I never thought it would really be that way."
Manziel's life as a potential franchise quarterback was always going to be that way, and somehow, Bieber's the one, when compared to Manziel, who's handled the spotlight like a functioning adult, not a functioning big kid with a drinking problem.