News broke today that former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be taking his talents up north to the great country of Canada to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The move isn’t necessarily surprising due to the fact that the contract has been on the table for numerous months, but it is news worthy because it officially means we won’t be seeing Manziel return to the NFL in 2018.
We all remember what happened last time Manziel suited up in an NFL uniform, right? The guy was electric for maybe two games and the rest of the time he was an absolute let down. I don’t know what was more entertaining to watch, him play or him royally screw up off the field.
When it came to his NFL numbers, there was more to be desired. In 2014 Manziel threw the ball only 35 times, amounting to 175 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. However, we did see somewhat of an improvement in 2015, as he appeared in 9 games, throwing for 1,500 yards and 7 touchdowns. But again, these aren’t the numbers the Browns had hoped Manziel would produce back when they took him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.
In college he was getting kicked out of frat parties, being sent home from the Manning Passing Academy, and getting arrested on misdemeanor charges, just to name a few. But the problems didn’t stop there. In his time with the Browns, Manziel enrolled in rehab, got pulled over for alcohol and domestic reasons, lied to coaches about a video of him partying, and was caught playing blackjack in Vegas the night before a game. It seemed Manziel couldn’t stay out of trouble and after his release in 2015, he was indicted on assault charges for a incident involving domestic violence.
Although his behavior was terrible, you cannot argue with this guy’s game tape. He was absolutely electric to watch in high school and in college. He played with an insane amount of confidence and fire. Every game he dazzled millions of people with his escapability, speed, and big-play ability. There was no doubt he was going to be the Heisman Trophy winner and there were thoughts that he would go 1st overall in the draft.
The Browns were betting big on Manziel and who could blame them? If it payed off, Manziel could’ve delivered them out of the abyss that their organization has been in for years, but instead it backed fired, as everyone watched on in horror as his career went spiraling downhill.
Manziel has been absent from the NFL since 2015, but has been seeking a comeback in recent months. He’s been publicly eyeing a return and has partcipated in numerous pro days and played in The Spring League, which was his first time back in the spotlight, playing in pads as NFL scouts dissected his potential. The whole point of him holding out on his CFL contract was to see if any NFL teams would offer him the opportunity to return, but after a long wait and no offers, Manziel decided it was time to agree to his contract and prep to begin play in Canada.
There’s no doubt Manziel is a player who has talent. If he can go up to Canada and stay clean and focused, while returning to play at the level he did during his time at Texas A&M, I’d bet there’s an NFL team out there who would roll the dice on him and offer him a chance to return to the NFL.