Johnny Manziel is back in football, though not in the NFL. To find him, you’ll have to look a little further north.
Yesterday, Manziel announced he signed a two-year contract with the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break. 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.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) May 19, 2018
Manziel has mostly been out of football since being released by the Cleveland Browns in March of 2016. But this year began a sort of comeback tour with him, working out at San Diego’s Pro Day and playing reasonably well in the Spring Football League this April.
But no NFL teams were interested enough to bring him on board. At one point, the New England Patriots seemed to have some level of interest but that hope dissipated after drafting Danny Etling in the 7th round of the draft.
According to Jason La Canfora, Manziel better get used to wearing a parka again. It’s unlikely he’ll be released from his CFL deal even if a NFL team comes calling.
I am also told that Manziel's CFL contract is a 2-year, binding deal. There is no window or escape clause for the NFL in current CFL CBA …
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 19, 2018
Manziel will be 27 in two years. But if he plays well and more importantly, stays clean, a return to the NFL isn’t out of the question.
For now, he’ll compete with Vernon Adams and last year’s starter Jeremiah Masoli for playing time. And get ready for those “Should the Steelers sign Manziel?” articles two years from now. I mean this literally – brace yourselves, winter is coming.