Is Johnny Manziel's Family Actually Rich? Here's Their True Story

Johnny Manziel walked onto the football field with a helmet and a lot of cash — or at least that's what people thought. Manziel was a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of his career. According to Sporting News, the star player became a starting quarterback at Texas A&M University in 2012 and was officially drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

Football fans were excited about the potential he could bring to the league, but as quickly as that excitement came, it disappeared. Manziel's behavior off the field was filled with plenty of partying, and he clearly was not focused on football, per Sports Bank. Because of the football star's behavior, his career went downhill, and after two years, the Browns released him from their team, per Sporting News.

Many wondered how someone could jeopardize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a big name in the NFL, but they also believed it was because Manziel knew he had his family's wealth to fall back on. It's not every day you see a person in their 20s living a lavish lifestyle. While he was making money from the NFL, Manziel always claimed his family had decades of generational wealth. Now, with Manziel's new documentary, "Untold: Johnny Football," out on Netflix, new details have been uncovered about his family and the money they make.

Johnny Manziel's generational wealth doesn't really exist

Throughout his career, Johnny Manziel's family was known to have generational wealth due to their involvement in the oil business, but that's not entirely true. According to Bro Bible, Manziel and his manager, Nate Fitch, revealed in the Netflix documentary, "Untold: Johnny Football," they made up the story that he'd come from "Texas oil money."

Throughout his college career, Manziel had a suspicious amount of money that allowed him to live a life many could only dream of. While the Cleveland Browns star and Fitch would say it was because of generational wealth, it was actually because he broke NCAA rules, per Men's Journal. The football star would sell his autographs, which was strictly against NCAA conduct. Fitch explained, "I started with, 'How does he get caught?' He gets caught because somebody takes a picture during a paid autograph session. You can sign autographs all you want — the part you have to conceal is money being paid."

The football star's manager knew he couldn't have Manziel living such a wealthy lifestyle without a backstory, so he came up with the idea of generational wealth, per Men's Journal. He said, "As a freshman, you aren't allowed to talk to the media. but they were allowed to talk to me. And so, the biggest spin that still exists today, I invented the narrative that his family was vastly wealthy." Fitch said it best — the narrative stuck and many believe it to this day.

Johnny Manziel's family is still wealthy (just not as wealthy as people thought)

How did Nate Fitch come up with the elaborate story that Johnny Manziel's family had generational wealth courtesy of the oil business? Well, apparently the whole story isn't entirely built on lies.

According to Men's Journal, in 2013, Manziel was "placed under investigation" for selling his autographs and making money as a result. Although no evidence was ever discovered to support the claim that Manziel was violating NCAA rules, many wondered why he would have to sell his autographs in the first place. It was widely known that he had come from money, specifically due to his family's involvement in the Texas oil business. This raised questions and caused Deadspin to take a deep dive into the Manziel family history.

Deadspin reported that Manziel's family does have ties to the oil industry in Texas. However, it wasn't his immediate family that was involved with the oil business, but rather his great-great-grandfather and his great-grandfather who took on the Texas oil industry. As for Manziel's parents, his mother is a real estate agent, and his father is "into building homes and selling cars," per GH Gossip. While the Manziel family still reaps some of the benefits of the oil business their ancestors helped build in Texas, it's not enough to equal the amount of money the quarterback was flaunting back in the day.