LeBron James' agency ends marketing deal with Johnny Manziel

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

On the same day Cleveland Cavaliers starLeBron James expressed concern for Johnny Manziel, the embattled quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, James' marketing firm said it will no longer be working with Manziel.

James' business manager, Maverick Carter, told cleveland.com that LRMR Management Co. no longer will represent Manziel, whose troubles off the field since being drafted by the Browns in 2014 have been well-documented.

"I will continue to support and advise him as a friend," Carter told the website. "However, because Johnny needs to focus on personal growth, the next phase of his career and because LRMR continues to expand beyond marketing, we made the mutual decision that it was best to terminate our business relationship."

A source close to LRMR told ESPN's Darren Rovell that Manziel was its only sports marketing client and the company has long planned to focus on bigger projects, as manifested with the Uninterrupted, a player-driven website that attempts to provide unfiltered athlete content.

Earlier Wednesday, James said he was concerned for Manziel individually.

His comments came after Manziel was rumored to have been in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Manziel, who has been in the NFL's concussion protocol, missed a check-in with Browns officials Sunday morning. The team later said it didn't know where he was.

"I'm not quite sure, I don't know all the details on it," James said of the speculation surrounding Manziel's whereabouts. "I've really kind of haven't been all up on it, but I've heard a little of it. It's just a distraction for not only himself, but for everyone that's around him, including family, people that represent him, the people that are around him. And he'll figure it out at some point. We all hope."

Manziel signed LRMR as his marketing agent out of Texas A&M in 2014. In the 2014 season, he saluted James for being a type of mentor.

"He's done a good job, which I'm thankful for, of kind of checking in on me, making sure things are good," Manziel said of James in October 2014. "I've gone out to his house a couple of times and gotten the chance to kind of get away and relax."

Information from ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.

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