Manziel is still the Browns' backup to Brian Hoyer, who's led Cleveland to a 3-3 record.
"He's done a good job, which I'm thankful for, of kind of checking in on me, making sure things are good," Manziel said of James. "I've gone out to his house a couple of times and gotten the chance to kind of get away and relax."
Manziel, who has signed a marketing deal with James' longtime partners LRMR and Maverick Carter, said he's spent time observing how James "goes throughout every day of his life" for pointers on how to navigate professional sports life.
Manziel hasn't seen a snap in three games and it's uncertain when he will next. He doesn't seem to be clamoring for attention during his time in the shadows.
"There's been enough drama around me and my life for a couple of years now," said Manziel, a lightning rod for publicity ever since his Heisman Trophy-winning campaign in 2012. "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."