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NFL notebook: Bipolar Manziel eyes comeback

Sports Xchange
13 Feb 2018, 10:03 GMT+10

Johnny Manziel wants to play football again, saying he is addressing the issues that have derailed his playing career and plagued his life, including bipolar disorder.

"I was self-medicating with alcohol. That's what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression," Manziel told "Good Morning America" in a segment that aired Monday.

Manziel, who said he stopped drinking, was offered a contract to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL last month, but the sides have yet to come to terms. He hasn't received any interest from the NFL after being released by the Cleveland Browns after two troubled seasons -- on and off the field. Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy while at Texas AM, was the 22nd overall selection in the 2014 draft by the Browns.

Manziel, 25, announced during the GMA interview that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago.

--FOX rules analyst and former NFL official Mike Pereira said on a podcast that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles' fourth-down touchdown was in Super Bowl LII was an illegal play.

On the Talk of Fame network podcast, Pereira's basis is that wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey was lined up incorrectly in the formation on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

"I know the league came out and said that it's a judgment call, which it is," Pereira said on the podcast with Clark Judge. "The down judge, who was the one that (the play) was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment, and (Jeffrey) was close enough. Well, he wasn't. They lined up wrong."

--Press Taylor devised the "Philly Special" play in Super Bowl LII and is getting rewarded with a promotion to quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Taylor will take over for John DeFilippo, who was hired as the Minnesota Vikings new offensive coordinator.

Taylor, 30, has served as offensive quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach in two seasons for Doug Pederson. He was a holdover from Chip Kelly's staff after joining the team in 2013 as an offensive quality control coach.

--The Indianapolis Colts have established a scholarship fund to honor linebacker Edwin Jackson, who was killed in a traffic accident on Feb. 4.

Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay announced a $25,000 gift for the Edwin Jackson Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a qualified student applicant. The Colts will work with the Jackson family to establish the scholarship and determine its guidelines.

"This scholarship will honor Edwin's memory and his determination, work ethic and character. My family and the entire Colts organization are proud to have been associated with Edwin, and we are honored to help continue his legacy in the future."

--Cornerback Dave Amerson, released last week by the Oakland Raiders, is drawing interest from several teams, including the Houston Texans.

Amerson, who missed the final nine games of last season because of a foot injury, visited with the Texans has three visits with other teams this week.

Amerson's first stop last week was with the Chicago Bears.

--NFL scouts will have to do their homework on North Carolina State early-entry offensive lineman Will Richardson, who said during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio that his two-game suspension to start last season was marijuana-related.

"A lot of (NFL) coaches and scouts, they already know about it," Richardson said.

Richardson's other off-field problems include an arrest for DUI in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2015 and a subsequent one-game suspension.

NFLDraftScout.com lists Richardson (6-5, 322) as the 12th-best offensive tackle in the 2018 NFL Draft, projecting him as a fourth-round pick.

--San Francisco was rebuffed twice in attempts to trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo before New England decided to trade Tom Brady's backup.

Coach Kyle Shanahan met up with Bill Belichick at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and asked the Patriots' head coach face-to-face what it might take to get Garoppolo. San Francisco general manager John Lynch also made a pitch during the offseason, with the same results.

Lynch and Shanahan moved on but when Belichick called after the 49ers went 0-8, it took less than 10 minutes for the two sides to agree on a deal that involved the49ers second-round pick in this year's draft.

--Romeo Crennel officially was named defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans. Crennel served as the team's assistant head coach this past season.

Head coach Bill O'Brien confirmed Crennel would be returning to the position after former defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel was named the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

Before Vrabel took over as defensive coordinator this past season, Crennel oversaw the defense the previous three years and his unit never ranked below 11th in the NFL in points per game.

--The Jacksonville Jaguars will remove all tarps covering seats in the upper bowl at EverBank Field for next season.

The tarps were placed in the western portion of the upper deck starting in the 2006 season. Getting rid of them has been a goal since current owner Shahid Khan purchased the team in 2012.

The Jaguars will have 3,501 new seats for next season by removing the tarps.

--Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi lost most of his left hand last April in an ATV accident. Ten months later, the former second-round pick out of Georgia talked about the accident for the first time with The Players Tribune.

The 31-year-old Massaquoi, whom the Browns drafted in 2009 with the 50th overall pick, is shown with a prosthetic device on his left hand as he talks about that fateful April day.

"I take the turn too sharply and before I know it, my ATV loses control," he said. "The next thing I feel is something that feels like an explosion just went off in my hand. I'm in shock so I don't feel it, but I'm very aware of what's going on just because there's blood everywhere."

Massaquoi was flown by helicopter to the University of Georgia where doctors tried to save the hand.

--Former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis reportedly has been cleared to play after having surgery, according to ESPN.

Free agency begins March 14 but because Davis was released in November, he can sign before the league year officially starts.

The Colts released Davis on Nov. 9 when he sought additional opinions and opted for season-ending surgery groin surgery. Davis dealt with a lingering groin injury throughout last season after getting hurt in preseason and the Colts attempted to deal the 29-year-old during the season before the trade deadline.

--Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz said he is considering retirement after suffering three concussions last season. He signed a three-year, $21.5 million contract extension last August.

"A dude knocked me out," he told the Northwest Herald in Illinois, referring to the 2017 season-opener.

"After eight weeks, when I came back, it was constantly on my mind. I wasn't always able to play loose and free. It was in my head. Anytime that's on your mind while you're playing an NFL football game, you're in trouble. You can't play timid. Guys are trying to take your head off, you know?"

--General Manager Steve Keim was signed to a contract extension by the Arizona Cardinals.

Keim was elevated to his current role in January 2013; the extension keeps him under contract through the 2022 season.

Keim's contract was set to expire after the 2018 season as he and former coach Bruce Arians both inked four-year extensions in February 2015.

--Two months after his agent said Su'a Cravens received medical clearance to resume football activities, the Washington Redskins safety officially applied for reinstatement from the reserve/left squad list.

Cravens was placed on the exempt/left squad list Sept. 3 after the 22-year-old said he wanted to retire. On Sept. 18, Washington placed him on the reserve/left squad list, meaning Cravens was ineligible to return during the regular season or for any postseason games.

He unexpectedly left the Redskins while dealing with a knee injury. Cravens underwent surgery Aug. 15 to repair a torn meniscus but was cleared to play in the team's season opener on Sept. 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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