Johnny Manziel’s goal is to eventually get back to the NFL. But for now, that dream is going to have to wait a little longer. Manziel hasn’t seen an NFL field since 2015, after appearing in 15 games for the Cleveland Browns. But Saturday morning, ‘Johnny Football’ announced via Twitter his return to football by signing with the Canadian Football League.
“Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break.”
Per The Dallas Morning News, it’s a two-year deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Meanwhile, it looks as though offers from NFL teams just weren’t coming in for the former Heisman winner. In fact, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, a teammate of Manziel’s during the Spring League would secure a workout before he did.
“Free agent QB Cody Keith, who impressed in the Spring League while on Johnny Manziel’s team, is working out for the Colts…”
Then again, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. In 15 games with the Browns (eight starts), Manziel would complete just 57 percent of his passes. Not only that, but he would toss only seven touchdowns to five interceptions. During his Spring League stint, we would go so far as to blame the Browns for his failures at the NFL level. From The Dan Patrick Show’s Andrew Perloff:
“If Cleveland did any of their homework they would have known I wasn’t a guy who came in every day and watch film. I wasn’t a guy who really knew the X’s and O’s of football.”
I mean, then work on it, man! Obviously NFL teams understand that their draft picks aren’t finished products. Some of them aren’t even close, but it’s on both the team and individual to develop. Since coming back to Cleveland, the Browns have been a mess. But if a player plainly states they’re not putting the work in, there’s not too much that team can do after the fact. Obviously they can be smarter in the future and draft better, but again, that’s easy to say after the fact.
Now, if Manziel truly does want to play in the NFL again, this is a good first step. For the first time in three years, he’s going to play professional football. That’s a big deal. But he’s not back to where he wants to be just yet.