Johnny Manziel is sincere with his plans to get sober, starting with a self-imposed date of July 1, a source close to the quarterback said Wednesday.
The former Cleveland Browns player had hoped to play in the NFL in the coming season but has told people he understands 2017 might be more realistic.
Manziel talked about his thoughts on sobriety in an interview with TMZ Sports.
"I do believe he's serious," the source told ESPN. "He's talked for a while about knuckling down, getting ready and working out. It's more about health and having options and feeling good. If that works out for this season, great. But if not, that's OK too."
When asked if that turn to sobriety would require treatment, the source wasn't sure.
Though Manziel seems to be partying too much, he sounds "mostly OK" when the two talk, the source added.
To be sure, Manziel spoke often about avoiding off-field distractions during his two seasons in Cleveland but had trouble following his words. The Browns released the former first-round pick in March.
Last week, Manziel's father, Paul, raised the level of concern for his son after telling ESPN's Josina Anderson that Manziel is a "druggie" and that a stint in jail might save his life.
"It's not a secret that he's a druggie," Paul Manziel told Anderson on Friday. "I don't know what to say, other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn't [sought] it yet. Hopefully he doesn't die before he comes to his senses. That's about all you can say. I don't know what else to say."
Paul Manziel added that he checked his son into a rehab clinic earlier this year, but Manziel "escaped."
Manziel faces misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly rupturing the eardrum of former girlfriend Colleen Crowley in a January dispute in Texas.
Manziel is pleading not guilty, and on Monday, attorney Bob Hinton withdrew his name from Manziel's case after accidentally texting The Associated Press about his client, expressing concern Manziel would have difficulty passing a drug test. Jim Darnell remains Manziel's lead attorney. Manziel also faces a lawsuit for his part in the trashing of a Los Angeles rental home.