The NFL rumors point to a potential NFL comeback for Johnny Manziel, but it will start in Canada first.
On Saturday, the former first-round draft pick announced that he signed a deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Manziel is hoping to follow the path that Doug Flutie took after flaming out in the NFL, using a stint in the CFL as a springboard back to being an NFL starter. As ESPN noted, Manziel signed a two-year deal, and would appear to face an uncertain path should he return to the NFL.
Manziel quickly found his way out of the league after a poor work ethic and a series of off-the-field problems led the Cleveland Browns to part ways with him. The former Heisman winner has reportedly been getting his life back on track within the last year and said that he is thankful for those who helped turn himself around again.
“Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break,” Manziel wrote on Twitter.
“Very grateful for everyone that’s been supporting me along the way. I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds.”
The move to the CFL is just the start of Manziel’s comeback, one that appears to face many hurdles. One of the major roadblocks to returning to the NFL would be Manziel’s uncertain discipline for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Manziel was handed a four-game suspension in 2016 and still faces the prospect of more punishment if he should happen to return, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted.
While he still has much to overcome, the NFL rumors seem to indicate a path forward back into the league — if Johnny Manziel can make the most of it. Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain noted that Manziel will be in an offense in Hamilton that plays well to his talents, so it would likely give him a chance to prove he still has the skills that made him a first-round draft pick.
Just what NFL team might take a chance on Johnny Manziel, especially given his history and the uncertainty surrounding his potential suspension, remains to be seen, however.