It seems like forever ago that the Johnny Manziel walked across the stage and became the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback of the future. Coming into the league, Manziel had a lot of question marks and even more doubters. After only a few seasons the doubters seemed to have been right, and Cleveland released Manziel.
Getting back into football
Since being released Manziel has been to rehab, revealed had he been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and has done nearly everything he can do to get back in the NFL. Johnny said he stopped drinking and now takes medication for his bipolar disorder.
Johnny was even part of the spring league that gives veterans a chance to show NFL scouts what they have left. In the few Spring League games, Manziel showed some flashes. However, his decent play wasn’t enough. Despite some NFL scouts saying Johnny still had a high ceiling, no one signed the former first-round pick.
There was never going to be an easy path back into the NFL for Manziel. However, the CFL is giving Johnny a chance to prove himself again. Heading to the great white north may be the perfect thing for Manziel.
The CFL will get NFL attention
Manziel announced on Twitter that he had signed a two-year deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Despite being nearly the same game the NFL and CFL have some significant difference. One of the most significant difference is the CFL’s wider field.
In college, Manziel was known for making plays with his feet and improvising when things broke down. A wider field may fit Johnny’s style a bit better and allow him to show off those skills again.
Of course, there is no guarantee Manziel still has the skills that made him a Heisman trophy winner. His prolonged absence from pro-football could mean he’s got some rust. Manziel has posted videos on social media showing himself doing drills, but without real game experience, it’s hard to know if Johnny can still play.
The CFL has had interest in signing Manziel for a while. This may be the right first-step for Johnny to get back in the NFL.