Johnny Manziel: Former Heisman Trophy Winner Ready For NFL Comeback In 2017? [Opinion]

Here’s Johnny – again? Is Johnny Manziel on the verge of an NFL comeback in 2017? According to Manziel’s former teammate and current Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin, Manziel is more than ready to make a return to the NFL. However, after Manziel’s long track record, the real question is if there is a team willing to take a chance on him?

According to Bleacher Report, Benjamin had this to say about Manziel on NFL Network’s Up To The Minute with Andrew Siciliano.

Benjamin chatted about Anthony Lynn’s coaching style and the Cleveland Browns organization who are now seemingly willing to pay their top players but weren’t when he was there. Benjamin had a chance to rip the Browns organization, but he did not. In fact, he remained his humble self and wished the best for the Browns and their fans.

Towards the end of the interview, Benjamin, the wideout who caught three of Manziel’s seven career touchdown passes during his time with the Browns, was asked what he thought about Manziel’s comeback effort and if he believes the man nicknamed “Johnny Football” for his outstanding NCAA play can put his past behind him and live up to his once high expectations he had when first coming into the league.

“I saw Johnny about a month ago through this PT guy we go to in San Diego and he’s looking good. He says he’s ready to come back and hopefully he’ll get a shot at a team and he’ll go in, continue to humble himself and play smart and play good.”

When asked to make his pitch or give a reason for Johnny Manziel to get another chance to compete for a spot on the NFL roster, Benjamin said the freewheeling quarterback, who bottomed out of the NFL after just eight starts, is a more determined man now.

“You gonna have a guy that’s going to come in ready to prove himself,” Benjamin said. “Ready to get his second chance at what he does best and hopefully it’ll be a good outcome.”

Manziel is currently an NFL free agent, meaning that he could join any team that wants to take a chance on him. In theory, a Johnny Manziel comeback story would be great for the NFL. What drew college fans and NFL scouts to Manziel was his explosive, creative, backyard-style type of plays. The average kid can relate to playing a pickup game with his friends and drawing up a play in the sand and then just free-wheeling it once the ball is snapped.

Johnny Manziel at the 2014 NFL Draft.

Manziel played the game that way at Texas A&M and fans loved it but after such a successful college career, Manziel seemed to go down the wrong path in the NFL.

Trips to Las Vegas and hanging out with celebrities is all fine, that is if it doesn’t affect your on-field performance. For Johnny Manziel it did contribute to his early NFL demise. Add to that, Manziel had several run-ins with the law, including a domestic violence misdemeanor charge that carried a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The charges were brought up when Manziel was accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley. The charges were dismissed after a plea deal was reached.

Johnny Manziel looks good during recent workouts with other NFL players.

In Johnny Manziel’s two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Manziel threw for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions while rushing for 259 yards and one touchdown. The interest will be there when it comes to taking a look at Manziel this July when teams break for training camp, that’s for sure. Now if Manziel can block out all of the negative feedback he will surely receive at first, he could become one of the great comeback stories of the 2017 NFL season.

[Featured Image by Andrew Weber/Getty Images]