Johnny Manziel is attempting to return to the NFL after missing the last two seasons. Manziel participated in the University of San Diego’s Pro Day on Thursday in the hope of getting the attention of teams looking for a new quarterback for the 2018 NFL season.
Manziel has not played in the league since the 2015 NFL season. He had a tumultuous sophomore year because of his off-field antics. Manziel is being linked to the New England Patriots, and Tarringo Basile-Vaughan of Chowder and Champions believes that the former Texas A&M standout will be an ideal fit for the Pats.
The former Heisman Trophy winner proved before that he can start in the NFL, but his skills were overshadowed by his off-field issues. Basile-Vaughan is convinced that Manziel would benefit from signing with the Patriots, where he could become Tom Brady’s backup. He thinks the former Cleveland Browns quarterback would “mature and eventually succeed” playing behind Brady.
Signing Manziel would also make a lot of sense for New England. Gotham Chopra, who directed Brady’s six-part documentary, hinted on The MMQB Podcast With Peter King that the superstar quarterback might retire soon, according to Sports Illustrated. The Patriots need a young quarterback who could eventually succeed Brady after they decided to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season.
Basile-Vaughan believes Manziel would be a good option for New England, and the Patriots look interested. According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, the Patriots were one of the teams who attended USD’s Pro Day. Feldman said the Patriots “brought Manziel inside to get an official weight for him” after the workout.
Manziel was impressive during the workout, completing 36 of his 38 attempts. Quarterback coach George Whitfield told Sports Illustrated that Manziel still needs to work on his timing, but he added that the Texas native’s arm is better compared to how it was before leaving Texas A&M.
The 25-year-old quarterback also feels that there is an improvement in his arm strength. He also knows that teams are concerned about his focus and dedication, but he is confident that the rehab for substance abuse changed him a lot. He believes that he can prove that he still deserves a spot in the league.
“This is the last of the last chances to show people that I’ve made a drastic change in my life,” Manziel said. “And it’s for the better and I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Manziel was drafted 22nd overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. In 2015, the he appeared in nine games for the Browns, where he completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,500 yards with seven touchdowns.