Bucs' Mike Evans says Johnny Manziel 'noble' to detail struggles

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans said Wednesday that although he knew Johnny Manziel had been addressing his mental health, he hadn't been aware of the degree of his former Texas A&M teammate's struggles.

In Netflix's "Untold: Johnny Football," Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, revealed that he had attempted to end his own life after going on a "$5 million bender."

Evans told ESPN that he applauds Manziel for opening up about his experiences in his documentary.

"I knew he was in a very dark place; I didn't know about that," Evans said of the former Cleveland Browns quarterback. "I care about him, but, you know, I didn't know about his suicide attempt. That was news."

In the documentary, Manziel said that after burning bridges with former coaches, teammates, close friends and family members, having lost endorsements, and refusing help for his substance abuse issues, he planned to spend all of his money and take his own life.

"I had planned to do everything that I wanted to do at that point in my life," Manziel said in the documentary. "Spend as much money as I possibly could and then my plan was to take my life. Months prior, I went and bought a gun I knew I was going to use. I wanted to get as bad as humanly possible to where it made sense and it made it seem like an excuse and an out for me."

Instead, Manziel said, "the gun just clicked on me."

Manziel also opened up about living with bipolar disorder, for which he was self-medicating to cope after being diagnosed in 2017.

"I thought it was very noble of him to do what he did, 'cause it takes heart to, like, admit a lot of that stuff," said Evans, adding that "there's nothing wrong" with seeking help.

Evans said he knew about everything else Manziel divulged in the documentary. He watched it Tuesday night when it came out, and he appears in it while standing next to Manziel during the Texas A&M Hall of Fame inductions at Kyle Field last year.

The two keep in touch on and off.

"I thought it was a good documentary," Evans told ESPN. "I mean, there's a lot of stuff that I knew about, questions answered for a lot of people."

Evans said Manziel had entered uncharted waters as a college freshman, suddenly thrust into the national spotlight after winning the Heisman at age 20. Celebrities were clamoring to meet him and to party with him, and his off-field escapades, including run-ins with the law, were documented at every turn on social media.

Manziel admitted to engaging in self-sabotage because of his growing unhappiness with football when he got to the NFL.

"People know -- I mean, he's a super-talented guy," Evans told ESPN. "I mean, obviously his time, it came and gone -- gone real fast -- and that's hard for people to deal with," Evans told ESPN. "Especially, he's like the first of his kind -- a rock star [college] quarterback who's hanging with all celebrities. Like, that's like the first of his kind, so he was in a tough spot early on."