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Johnny Manziel hit with 4-game ban for substance abuse

The 23-year-old is among only a handful of first-round NFL Draft selections to be cut two years into his rookie contract.

Image: Scott Eklund

FREE AGENT QUARTERBACK Johnny Manziel has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, according to TMZ and a posting on the NFL’s website.

Manziel was released by the Cleveland Browns in March after going 2-6 in his eight NFL starts and the four-game ban would be served when he returns to the league, if ever.

The 23-year-old is among only a handful of first-round NFL Draft selections to be cut two years into his rookie contract and could face potenially more roadblocks to an NFL comeback.

Manziel would also face a review under the NFL’s personal conduct policy after facing misdemeanor assault charges from his former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who accused him of domestic violence during a January incident in Texas, saying he hit her and threatened to kill her.

Manziel is pleading innocent but if a league review finds he committed a violation of the league’s domestic abuse policy, he faces a six-game ban on top of the four-game suspension for the substance abuse violation.

Manziel told TMZ he plans to become “completely sober” starting Friday.

The NFL has also imposed a one-game ban against New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for a violation of the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. He will miss the Jets’ regular-season opener in September against Cincinnati.

Richardson pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in January stemming from his arrest for driving 143 mph while evading police with a 12-year-old in the car. He was not charged with child endangerment or a drug offense despite the police report indicating officers caught the aroma of marijuana while making the arrest.

© AFP 2016 

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