If There's One Person That Would Buy That Johnny Manziel Is Capable Of An NFL Comeback It's Gary Barnidge
“He’s got a great group around him,” Barnidge said. “He’s got his family. If he ever needs anything, he knows he can call anybody.”
And that wasn’t even the nicest thing Barnidge said. He also thinks Manziel will play in the NFL again someday.
“I think he can. I think he definitely will,” Barnidge said. “I think he will, as long as he wants to. I know he’s gonna get everything taken care of. I’m looking forward to seeing him back out there.”
Disclaimer: I wouldn't even go as far as saying that Gary Barnidge believed one single word that came out of his mouth during that interview. He clearly didn't want to be in front of a camera, and he definitely didn't want the subject matter to be his alcoholic burnout of a former quarterback. That's probably a hell of a reason why his responses made little to no sense. A great group around him? I know he's not talking about the family that resembles the Seaver's ('Growing Pains') on the outside, and is about as dysfunctional as the Gallagher's ('Shameless') on the inside. Are we including the homeless looking guy from OVO that was out drinking with Johnny 6 straight nights in a row as part of the "great group"? What about Barnidge's other former teammate Josh Gordon? Is he also part of the "great group" despite not being able to put the pipe down long enough to continue what may turn out to be one of the most promising "never was" careers of all time? It's pretty clear Barnidge was just saying whatever would get I'm out of that conversation the fastest without being too controversial.
Even if that weren't the case, could anyone really blame Gary Barnidge if he truly believed that Manziel was capable of a comeback? We are talking about a guy that literally came out of nowhere to nearly double his receptions and yards from the previous SIX seasons combined in one single year. A guy that tripled his total career touchdowns in one season. He will believe in whatever magic transformed a journeyman tight end into one of the best in the league while playing in Cleveland of all places. As crazy as it sounds, Johnny Manziel - as well as Josh McCown and Austin Davis - were part of that magic. It would be a minor miracle if Manziel could go 24 hours without being photographed stumbling into a bar, but if there is a person that believes in miracles it's Gary Barnidge. His unlikeliest of ascensions is the closest thing to a miracle by NFL standards, and I'll be damned if he won't forever support ever crappy quarterback that helped get him there...even if they are all out of the league within the calendar year.