Johnny Manziel (center) has faced packed media scrums like Wednesday's ever since he won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman. (Mark Duncan/AP)
Many NFL players spend their Memorial Day weekends on vacation, taking the opportunity to wind down before OTAs begin. Not many of them are intensely scrutinized for it, but Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel has become the exception to that rule -- in general, he's criticized for nearly every move he makes.
Manziel was photographed partying in Las Vegas with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Although he wasn't involved in anything newsworthy, he was still chastised for not being committed to the game.
While speaking to the media at practice on Wednesday, Manziel made it about as clear as possible that while he's going to live his life the way he wants, he's committed to his craft.
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"I don't live my life according to you guys or according to what other people think of me,'' he said Wednesday, via Cleveland.com. "I'm going to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game, committed to what I need to be doing here and trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches, with this organization."
Unfortunately, NFL fans have to get used to the fact that Manziel non-stories like this will be the story of the summer. Until Manziel gets on the field and shows that he can be successful at the NFL level, his every step off the field will be overanalyzed shortly thereafter. On-field success and winning tends to drown out the other noise, but Manziel has plenty of down time to navigate before the games begin.