Free agent quarterback Johnny Manziel is being linked to the New England Patriots. The Patriots are in search for a young backup quarterback after they traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season. New England has Brian Hoyer as backup, but the veteran signal caller is already 32-years-old.
If the Patriots decide to sign a young quarterback to prepare for Tom Brady’s eventual retirement, Sam Minton of Chowder And Champions believes they should take a gamble on Johnny Manziel. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback has not played since 2015 but is trying to return to the NFL next season.
Former NFL player Nate Burleson of NFL Network first discussed the idea of Manziel signing with the Patriots. Burleson said that Manziel will be in a good position to revive his career in New England because he will have a strong competition against Hoyer for the backup role.
Minton agreed with Burleson’s take, saying that the potential Hoyer-Manziel battle in training camp will be very interesting. In turn, the strong competition will likely bring out the best out of Manziel, and will just make him more focused on proving his worth in the league.
Brady is expected to start for New England for a few more seasons, but the Patriots will eventually need to find a replacement for him. Minton said that Manziel has a lot of football ahead of him, and playing under Brady will just make him a better player on and off the field.
Manziel looked as if he was ready to realize his potential during his second season with the Browns in 2015. He completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,500 yards with seven touchdowns. However, Cleveland parted ways with the troubled quarterback because of his undesirable behavior outside the playing field.
His off-field antics could be a cause for concern for the Patriots, but Bill Belichick is not afraid of distractions. It is also worth noting that Manziel is showing positive development over the past several months.
Manziel said during an interview on Pardon My Take podcast that he has learned from his past mistakes. He revealed that he has been working out six days a week, preparing for another shot in the league this offseason. He is optimistic of his chances of convincing a team to sign him for next season.
“The only thing I have on my plate right now is working out six days a week and playing a little golf on the side, trying to just keep myself in a good place, get away from some of the things I’ve been doing the last couple of years,” Manziel said. “Learn from my mistakes and get back to what I love doing.”