CLEVELAND (AP) — Johnny Manziel has lost another close ally.
The troubled quarterback was dropped by his NFL agent Friday following two police investigations in Texas last weekend. Erik Burkhardt released a statement saying that with “deep regret” he has ended his business relationship with Manziel, who will be released by the Cleveland Browns next month.
Burkhardt said he made his decision after “several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, his doctors, and my client himself.”
“Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter, and he knows I have worked tirelessly to arrange a number of professional options for him to continue to pursue, it has become painfully obvious that his future rests solely in his own hands,” the agent said in a statement.
“His family and I have gone to great lengths to outline the steps we feel he must take to get his life in order. Accountability is the foundation of any relationship, and without it the function of my work is counterproductive. I truly wish the best for Johnny and sincerely hope he can, and will, find the kind of peace and happiness he deserves.”
Manziel was under police investigation for allegedly hitting ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. She told police the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M struck her “several times” at a Dallas hotel and later when they drove back to her apartment in Fort Worth. The police departments in both cities said Thursday their investigations are closed.
Burkhardt isn’t the first to end business ties with Manziel. Cavaliers star LeBron James’ marketing agency ended its association with him last month.
James did not want to discuss the 23-year-old player’s troubles following the team’s morning shootaround.
“I’ve already voiced my opinion on his situation,” James said. “I’m not going to do it again. I think that’s the last thing I need to be talking about is his incidents. That doesn’t make it any better. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened, so who am I to say he was right or he was wrong? I wasn’t there.”
On Tuesday, the Browns released a strong statement in which the team indicated it will release Manziel as early as March 9, when the league begins its new calendar year.
Also, the league is looking into whether Manziel violated its personal-conduct policy. League spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday the inquiry is “ongoing.” Manziel was cleared of any wrongdoing last year after he and Crowley got into a heated roadside argument near the player’s home.