Johnny Manziel has made a lot of moves during his short, nine month career as a Cleveland Brown, but none were as impressive or courageous as the one he made last Wednesday, when he checked himself into rehab. It was a big step for a guy known mostly for his missteps since entering the NFL, and a serious sign that he is committed, to himself first and foremost, but also to his future, whether that includes the NFL or not.
Manziel is expected to spend at least a few weeks in the treatment center (many programs are 28 days), and the work he does during that time inside the facility may indeed help him “figure out his value system”, as he reportedly told people close to him. But the real work will begin once he leaves the facility. Johnny is always going to be under a microscope. In the past, he not only embraced it, he invited it. So, he's used to having his life play out in public. But the spotlight will be brighter now. Whatever his journey entails, whatever his self-analysis teaches him during his time in treatment, he will now be judged differently, and will now face higher expectations, especially off the field. In many ways, that's a very good thing. Manziel certainly won't lack for support. Family, friends, teammates and fans will applaud his efforts, and encourage his new lifestyle. But it won't be easy. Challenges and temptations will always be there. It's up to Johnny to learn what his limitations are, and decide who and where he wants to be. This was just the first step. But it's an impressive one.