The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL held onto negotiating rights to Johnny Manziel by offering him a contract earlier this month.
Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt responded to that by imposing a January 31 deadline to reach a “fair deal” with the quarterback or they will turn their “focus to several other professional options readily available to us.” In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez, Rick Neuheisel and Mark Dominik, Tiger-Cats General Manager Eric Tillman said he doesn’t feel rushed by the attempt to impose a deadline on Manziel returning to the field in Canada.
“A lot of stuff happens in the negotiation process,” Tillman said. “We have a lot of respect for Erik. Our meetings with Johnny have been good. We’ll be patient. I know the deadline is there but will be fluid. There’s a lot of time between now and the beginning of camp [in May]. … There aren’t many benefits of being 60, which I am now, but one is that you learn the value of patience. [Burkhardt] is doing his job and trying to represent his client. Johnny certainly is a guy that was an elite player and has a high profile. I’m not going to negotiate obviously on the air but we understand that [deadline] is just part of the process.”
Tillman said Manziel’s accuracy was “absolutely ridiculous” in workouts for the team and that he thinks it will be “a win-win situation” if a deal can be worked out. It’s not clear what other options Manziel would pursue given the lack of NFL interest, although another one may make itself known later on Thursday.