With the Browns (finally) dumping quarterback Johnny Manziel, the next question becomes whether someone else will give Manziel his latest second chance.
Former NFL player Heath Evans, who currently works for the NFL as one of its on-air NFL media analysts, thinks that all teams should be prevented from doing so.
Via Deadspin, Evans has called upon the Commissioner to prevent teams from signing Manziel. Without something along the lines of a lifetime suspension (which of course would have to be supported by evidence and would in turn be subject to appeal procedures under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and external litigation if the Commissioner abuses his powers), any directive by the league office to teams not to sign Manziel would amount to collusion.
Though it’s safe to say that Goodell isn’t taking advice from Evans regarding matters of employee discipline (then again, based on the league’s misadventures in court the past few years, maybe he is), it’s a bad look for any employee of the NFL to be advocating behavior that would be a violation of federal law.
That doesn’t mean Manziel won’t be blackballed. Some believe that the league has made it clear to teams that running back Ray Rice will never play again after his misconduct of two years ago. Absent a smoking gun like an email or a text message or a former club employee who is sufficient disgruntled to speak out, that could never be proven.
As to players like Manziel, collusion isn’t needed. From a possible domestic violence prosecution to substance-abuse issues that placed him in rehab for 10 weeks last year and that by all appearances have resurfaced, no team in its right mind will be giving Manziel safe haven.
If he was really good, of course, that would be a different issue.