Johnny Manziel Mar 4, 2017; College Station, TX, USA; Former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel watches a game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel made a surprising revelation about his college football career Wednesday during an appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast.

Manziel claimed his father requested a $3 million deal with Texas A&M in which he would have returned to the school for two more seasons rather than enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

The matter-of-fact way in which Manziel recounted the experience shows he doesn’t think it’s much of a revelation, and really, all college football fans knew big athletes were getting big money under the table at the powerhouse football schools.

But $3 million for two years for a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback does give us a benchmark for the going rate at that time.

Manziel said then-Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin turned down the proposal.

“My dad went and had a meeting with Kevin Sumlin,” Manziel said. “‘He went to him man-to-man and said, ‘We’ll take $3 million and stay for another two years.'”

Manziel said Sumlin laughed and brushed off the proposal. The former college star who flamed out after two years in the NFL said he didn’t find out about the incident for five years.

“And my dad did this without me knowing,” Manziel said. “And I ain’t mad at him about it for nothing. It’s the way the business worked back then. There was a bag man. There was a bag man at LSU. There was a bag man at ‘Bama. There was a bag man at every school around the country if you were competing for a national title …”

Manziel said such deals were common in college sports for years before the recent introduction of NIL.

“It went on for 30-40 years before (NIL),” Manziel said.

College football fans mostly had the same reaction.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.