Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson turned heads recently when he purchased the XFL for $15 million, which previously belonged to WWE head Vince McMahon. This purchase created questions about the future of the sport and whether former Texas A&M superstar Johnny Manziel would join the league. He has now weighed in and said that he's "past football."
Speaking with TMZ in Los Angeles, Manziel shut down the idea of him suiting up for the XFL. "I'm retired, dude," he said during the conversation. "Listen, anything The Rock touches is gonna be gold as always. ... But, I think football is a little bit behind me." Manziel then explained that he is focusing on what makes him happy and that there is more to life than football. Although he did clarify that he is still training.
"You never say never, I'm still an athletic guy ... but at the end of the day, let's see where the rest of life takes me and we'll go from there," Manziel told TMZ. "Football for me is not at the forefront of my mind. It's just chillin' and being one of the bros." Manziel previously turned heads during his career at Texas A&M, winning the Heisman Trophy and becoming a first-round draft pick.
While Manziel did land with the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft, he did not last in the NFL. The Browns cut him in 2016 after posting a 2-6 record in two seasons and several off-the-field issues. He later spent time in the CFL and short-lived AAF but has not played professional football since. Now it appears that this will not change despite the upcoming return of the XFL.
"The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things — my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans," Johnson said in a press release. "With pride and gratitude for all that I've built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football."
According to the XFL's co-owner Dany Garcia, the plan is to bring the football league back in 2021. She explained that the eight teams could play in a bubble if necessary due to COVID-19. Garcia also said that the "roots and the bones" of the XFL are excellent and that they can add some elegance before the league returns.