Johnny Manziel thought that he might be able to find himself another opportunity to get back into the NFL by taking the CFL route, proving that he can dominate that league before returning to the arena in which he was once thought of—at least by the Cleveland Browns—as a first-round talent.
Things are not exactly going according to plan. He chose to play the good soldier—or more realistically, had no choice but to—accepting a backup quarterback position behind Jeremiah Masoli for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Unfortunately for Manziel, it turns out Masoli is a pretty decent quarterback himself.
In fact, as Pro Football Talk pointed out just recently, he just tied a CFL record for posting his ninth-consecutive game in which he threw for 300 or more yards passing. Masoli has completed 98 of 149 pass attempts so far this season in four games for a league-leading 1378 yards, averaging 9.2 yards per attempt.
To be fair, he does have just four touchdown passes to four interceptions. Last season for the Tiger-Cats, he threw 15 touchdowns to five interceptions in 12 games, throwing for over 3000 yards. Hamilton is 2-2 on the season so far after losing to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, currently second in the East Division, but the 2-1 Ottawa Redblacks have yet to play their fourth game.
Manziel was the 22nd-overall pick of the Browns back in 2014. He played there for two seasons before being released following a tumultuous tenure that included a brush with law enforcement or two, as well as substance abuse issues.
The former Heisman Trophy winner spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons out of football, a period of time in which he at least ostensibly made an effort to get his life straightened out. The Tiger-Cats were awarded the right to negotiate with him, but the CFL initially rejected his eligibility to sign with any team in 2017. He had to meet conditions to qualify for this season.
At the moment, it doesn’t appear as though he is any closer to getting back to the NFL—which is his stated intention—than he was a year ago. If he can’t even earn himself a starting job in the CFL, he is certainly not going to find one in the NFL.
Perhaps he can submit a resume to that flag football league that the NFL Network has been airing, featuring the likes of Jerrod Johnson and Seneca Wallace playing the quarterback position. He has a better chance of starting there than he does in Canada, apparently.