Johnny Manziel said he’d be an NFL starter again.
But if that’s going to happen, he’ll need to prove himself in Canada first.
This weekend he signed a two-year deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that could pay him over $300,ooo in his first season.
Manziel’s CFL contract: $122k base, $10k sign bonus, $18k housing stipend, $10k if active 6 games, $10k for 10 games active. $10k for 14 games active. Another $120k if plays half of snaps. March 1 $75k offseason bonus. 2018 $202k base w/same incentives
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 19, 2018
That’s a ton by CFL standards.
Manziel last played in the NFL in 2015 as a member of the Browns.
He then announced his sobriety in late June 2016.
It wasn’t until early 2018 that Manziel began making waves about a return to the NFL. But given his history and the fact that he wasn’t all that impressive when he actually made it onto the field in his Browns days, he drew little more than a whiff from NFL teams.
The CFL’s rules should favor Manziel. The field is 10 yards longer and more than 10 yards wider; unlimited offensive players can be in motion when the ball’s snapped; offenses have just three downs to gain a first down; and the defense has to line up a yard from the line of scrimmage.
Doug Flutie and Warren Moon, scrambling maestros like Manziel was in college, excelled in the CFL environment and parlayed their success into NFL careers.
Manziel is still only 25 and hasn’t taken a real hit in over two years, save for a pair of games in the Spring League. So he should have plenty left in the tank physically.
If Manziel flops out of the CFL or even becomes nothing more than a serviceable CFL quarterback, we can finally close the door on his NFL dreams.