(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The New England Patriots had a lot of fans in the Gillette Stadium crowd during Sunday’s AFC championship win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It turns out that group also included one Johnny Football.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL washout received tickets courtesy of Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, who shares a connection with Manziel as a fellow former Texas A&M Aggies player.
Decked out in Patriots gear from head to toe, Manziel documented the experience on social media in a series of Twitter and Snapchat posts. Later he gave a shout out to Bennett for inviting him.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 23, 2017
Following the game, Bennett responded to the tweet and wished Manziel well in his quest to return to the NFL.
Aggies stick together. Can't wait to see you back on the field!!! Thanks for the support. https://t.co/wSX7dDSpYr
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) January 23, 2017
It was the latest recent public appearance by Manziel, who was out of the NFL this season after being released by the Cleveland Browns. He also attended last month’s Heisman presentation in New York.
After two lackluster years with the Browns in 2014 and 2015 he has been dealing with alcohol issues, and in early December reached an agreement to have a domestic violence case against him in Dallas dismissed.
Bennett went to high school outside of Houston before going to play college football at A&M.
In the locker room after Sunday’s win, Bennett confirmed he had given Manziel a ticket, calling the former quarterback “a friend.” He said that his Aggie and Texas connection with Manziel motivated the gesture.
“I mean, we’re Aggies. Aggies stick together. You know we’ve got an Aggie brotherhood. He’s a good kid,” Bennett told reporters. “We just had this big opportunity. When you play football, you want to be around the game. You have a friend or somebody that you know that’s playing in these big games, it’s big difference to be there and support them.”
Manziel will have another chance to be close to Bennett and the Patriots.
He will be on hand in Houston Super Bowl week to participate in two autograph signings leading up to the game. Manziel will be holding events at two local malls and charging $99 for his signature or photograph with him, or fans can take a selfie for $50.