After months of seemingly endless discussion surrounding him, Johnny Manziel has been relatively quiet during the NFL's regular season. No questionable weekend outings or controversial Twitter posts or sideline spats.
And the Browns, who are 4-3 and on their way to one of their best seasons in recent years, are surely thankful for Manziel's disciplined approach. As it turns out, Cleveland may have the NBA's best player to thank for Manziel's team-first attitude.
Manziel says LeBron James has been watching over him and has even invited him to his house to unwind.
"He's done a good job, which I'm thankful for, of kind of checking in on me, making sure things are good," Manziel told ESPN. "I've gone out to his house a couple of times and gotten the chance to kind of get away and relax."
Life can be hard for a rookie in the NFL, but Manziel isn't your ordinary newcomer. Ever since he won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 as a redshirt freshman, Manziel has lived under a microscope of media attention. Photos and videos of him have surfaced from all sorts of events and parties, and he was the subject of extraordinary attention leading up to the NFL draft.
Manziel's preseason performance landed him in the headlines again, and the Browns and their fans may have been worried that their team's backup quarterback would overshadow what went on on the field.
But, perhaps because of James' oversight, Manziel has kept his behavior in check. He's only attempted one pass this year and hasn't played in a game since Aug. 21, but Manziel has been careful not to voice his displeasure or publicly challenge the team's coaching staff.
"There's been enough drama around me and my life for a couple of years now," Manziel said. "For me, I know whenever camp was over, when we got into the roles of who was going to play what role, Brian was named the starter, I was named the backup. Now I need to play my role of being the backup and that's that."
Manziel and James have been close for some time, and Manziel has a marketing deal with James' friends and partners LRMR and Maverick Carter. James was the first person to have a Johnny Manziel Browns jersey, and he was on hand to see the Browns' take down the Raiders on Sunday.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 26, 2014
Now it's Manziel's turn to catch one of James' games. Manziel will be in attendance Thursday when James and the Cavaliers open the NBA's regular season against the New York Knicks.