Former Browns first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel, the controversial quarterback taken out of Texas A&M, came clean about his alter ego “Billy Vegas” on a podcast Wednesday morning.

Manziel appeared as the sole guest on Uninterrupted’s The ThomaHawk Show, a podcast hosted by Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and former Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins.

In more than 50 minutes, Manziel talked about the ups and downs of his brief NFL career, but he finally came clean about an incident that lives in infamy in Cleveland professional sports lore.

With the team floundering late in the 2015 season, Manziel, who had been elevated to starter, mentally checked out of the season early, he said in the interview.

A concussion suffered in the second-to-last game against the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t help. Add to the mix the arrival of a few Texas buddies and a recipe for mayhem was completed.

With his buddies in party mode after that game, he joined the festivities.

“Joe will remember this like it was yesterday,” Manziel said. “We come into that offensive line meeting that we have at 7 a.m. every Tuesday. I don’t know if it’s a combination of me being concussed, having drank the night before or just being out of it. But I walked into the meeting for probably 15 seconds and I’m like, ‘Nope. No way is this going to happen. My head is loopy.’ ”

Later in the week, Manziel boarded a plane for Las Vegas with a plan to be there for a grand total of three hours, so he could return in time to make his appointment with team doctors, which the Browns require of all injured players. Needless to say, he didn’t make it.

After being recognized at a casino, he searched Google for a wig shop where he bought fake blond tresses and introduced himself as “Billy,” and his alter ego was born. Manziel said he knew he wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without a disguise.

“As funny as this is, I’m still embarrassed by it,” he said.

It was probably more embarrassing that night given the disguise didn’t work. Manziel partied to 3 or 4 a.m. Knowing he wasn’t going to make it back to Cleveland in time for the team’s final game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he decided to deal with it later.

Later came at 3 or 4 p.m. Sunday when his phone blew up with messages, he said. That’s when he knew “Billy Vegas” had at least temporarily consumed his life.

Despite the incident, Manziel said he believed he still had a future with the Browns after talking to owner Jimmy Haslam and then-executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown. That’s until his agent told him that if Hue Jackson was selected the team’s new head coach, Manziel would be expendable.

“I get it,” Manziel said. “At the end of the day, it’s a billionaire owner who has to make a decision for his franchise for the rest of time, so there’s no hard feelings there. It is what it is. Probably, to be honest, I should have taken it a little better in the fact that it’s not the end of the world. I’m just going to a new team instead of going into self-sabotage mode from there.”

Manziel’s subsequent downfall is well documented. Hoping to revive his football career, he’s started to try to make amends, including with Hawkins and Thomas, who welcomed him enthusiastically.

“It’s the point and time when I’m able to reflect and look back, know it was a mistake, know that I made some really childish immature decisions,” he said, calling it disrespectful to teammates and the organization.

Manziel’s road back will continue beginning March 28 when he starts play in the Spring League, a developmental league based in Austin, Texas, for those looking to continue their pro football careers.

George M. Thomas can be reached at gmthomas@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ.