Report: Nike courting Johnny Manziel

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Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s football future will be determined by someone else.  But he remains in full control of his non-football earnings.

According to Matthew Kish of the Portland Business Journal, Manziel met Wednesday with Nike executives at the company’s Oregon campus.

Given Manziel’s connections to NBA star LeBron James, a potential affiliation with Nike makes sense.  And from such an arrangement Manziel would likely make plenty of money.

Unlike his NFL earnings, which will be capped for three years based on his draft position (and far less than they would have been before 2011), Manziel can make as much as he wants off the field.  Some believe he’ll become one of the rare NFL players who cash in significantly via endorsements.

His trip to Oregon comes at a time when his camp has been trying to create the impression that Manziel is focused exclusively on football, opting to pass on media opportunities (like a Super Bowl week tour of Radio Row) to focus on working out, gaining weight, watching film, and learning NFL schemes, defenses, and protections.

We’re not knocking the guy for trying to get paid.  We’re pointing out that the notion Johnny Football is currently all about football is more about getting Johnny drafted as high as possible and less about reality.

26 responses to “Report: Nike courting Johnny Manziel

  1. Make what you can from the evil empire little Johnny…because you will be a colossal bust in the NFL.

  2. right because spending a couple of days taking care of business off field is going to make everything he has done on the field during his career and off it since the season ended look bad right?

  3. One thing I heard this week that will be overlooked when he goes to the combine… Manziel has size 15 hands… The distance between the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinky… Sure that has nothing to do with being accurate or reading a defense but a guy like Daunte Culpepper who had size 9.5 hands always had a problem holding onto the football… I think it makes a huge difference when trying to command the football… kinda think how MJ could always handle a basketball with one hand and seemed to always have a complete grip on the ball.

  4. You can’t blame players for cashing in while they can. That window closes pretty fast. But I don’t understand why any company would sign a draft prospect before finding out whether he’ll live up to his hype. If you’d signed Ryan Leaf to a huge marketing contract pre-draft, you’d have wasted a lot of money.

  5. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle was in San Diego all week talking to Manziel while he trained. Said he saw Manziel powerlift 550….

    And yes, he wears XXL size gloves. It’s one of the reason’s he’s so accurate and he had so few fumbles in his career despite him waving the ball around like an idiot.

  6. I am not a Texas A&M fan……but, with whta I have seen, thsi guy is smart, talented, and can make plays with his feet and arm.

    He had a dreadful oline and defense, but he passed for 70%!!!!

    Like him or not, I believe he will be an absolute star.

    Those that say he will be a bust, are clueless.

  7. Hold on there with the O Line comments….

    He had an outstanding O Line both years at A&M. In fact 3 of his O lineman from his Heisman year are projected 1st round talent. Joeckel last year, Matthews this year, and Ogbuehi next year.

    I’ll give you that his defense was terrible. And he put it on himself to carry his team. He felt he had to score EVERY possession because the D was so bad. That led to taking some unnecessary risks…

  8. As much as I hate to see all of the commercialism, he’d be crazy not to “meet” with potential business partner-sponsors. The playing career can be short. Wasn’t there a winning QB recently who was dumped like he was radioactive? Can’t get back on the field even as a back-up.

  9. I admit I don’t know a bunch about Manziel, his work habits, dedication, etc., etc. But knowing he has what seems like constant distractions, I just can’t help but wonder if he will become the next Todd Marinovich. It just seems like he is at great risk of failure.

    I hope I’m wrong and I hope he has a very long and successful career, unless he is playing my team.

  10. Considering the great successes of Wilson, Luck, Griffin,and to a lesser extent Tannehill, right from the git-go following their draft, this guy had better be unbelievable from his first pro snap. I cannot remember a college QB who was more hyped to the public for as long as Manziel. All of which says that he “has” to produce early on.

    Or we may never believe a TV sports commentator again.

  11. If the texans don’t pick him and go for one of the other qb’s, god help me. He is that good. These other quarterbacks are mediocre at best.

  12. What? He can’t complete an off-field contract without criticism? Good grief. I’m sure you can prepare for football and sign your name with neither impacting the other.
    What a foolish take.

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