Johnny Manziel signs deal with Spring League

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Comeback Season is beginning for Johnny Manziel in an unlikely place.

At a time when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League want Manziel to agree to terms, Manziel has agreed to terms with The Spring League, a short-season developmental league based in the U.S.

“We’re excited to have such a dynamic player in Johhny Manziel taking part in The Spring League,” Brian Woods, CEO of The Spring League, said in a release. “We believe our platform is the ideal forum for Mr. Manziel to enact his NFL comeback.”

Launched last year, The Spring League essentially is a pre-draft showcase for available players who may end up being signed by NFL teams after the draft, ostensibly to fill needs that aren’t satisfied via the process of picking incoming rookies, one round at a time.

In 2016, all Spring League games were played at The Greenbrier, in West Virginia. This year, the games will be played in Austin, with four games played over a two-week period.

Manziel will play for the Spring League South team, with games on Saturday, April 7 and Saturday, April 14.

“Football has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Manziel said in the release. “Sometimes you take for granted how much you value something until it’s gone. My goal is to make it back to the NFL and I realize I have to earn that privilege. The Spring League has provided me with a great opportunity to play ball again, and ultimately, that is all I want to do. I miss the competition.”

Why is Manziel pursuing this path? Put simply, teams want to see him in shape and playing, with pads on.

So that’s what they’ll get. Twice.

82 responses to “Johnny Manziel signs deal with Spring League

  1. Unfortunately for Manziel…he doesn’t have the arm strength to play QB in the NFL… People might suggest he isn’t in the NFL because of his character flaws, but there are plenty of headcases in the NFL… Simply put, he can’t throw a 10yd out with any zip whatsoever and if his team needed to complete a hail Mary to win a game…they’d have to be at the opponents 40yd line for him to have a chance at reaching the endzone…

  2. Why is Manziel pursuing this path? Put simply, teams want to see him in shape and playing, with pads on.

    Seems to be the best way to prove you belong in the NFL. Good for Johnny Football and I hope he’s learned that it’s earned and not owed. Too bad Colon Kaepernick can’t get that but I’m guessing he’s pretty comfortable wearing his victim pants by now and could care less about playing football.

  3. The real question is about his mindset.

    Playing a full season in the CFL in a team setting with men who have been there for years would be a better assessment of his commitment to the game and making the sacrifices necessary to lead a team. This seems like a stunt, which is exactly what I expect Manziel to be.

  4. I couldn’t stand this guy’s act at A&M. But knowing what I know now, I really can’t do anything but wish the kid the best and hope he gets his life back on track, if not his career.

  5. For all of his immature, entitled, look at me behavior, part of me actually wants to see this idiot succeed.

  6. imsomeguy says:
    February 14, 2018 at 10:31 am
    Did anyone from last year’s Spring League actually make it on an NFL team’s roster?


    5 players were signed, four were cut before the season, one was on a practice squad for the Falcons I think and spent “some time” on the active roster. One was cut by the Ravens but was on the roster for two games before being waived again. So essentially, no. I think 2-3 players made CFL runs.

  7. “Why is Manziel pursuing this path? Put simply, teams want to see him in shape and playing, with pads on.”

    One would wonder if perhaps a more important thing the teams would like to see would be a psychological evaluation…….

  8. Why is Manziel pursuing this path? Put simply, teams want to see him in shape and playing, with pads on.

    Really? Name one team that hasn’t already seen enough of this clown.

  9. Some people don’t want to see him succeed, just want him to go away…because in the common man’s world, a 2nd chance is lucky, a 3rd is a rarity. Many hard working Americans will NEVER get all the chances this kid continues to receive…and squander.

    So, yea. I’m not rooting for him to get back in the NFL and make millions. IMO, he’s totally blown his shot and I’m now rooting for an unknown to make the team in his old roster spot. Goodbye Manziel, go sell cars in Texas, telling all the buyers about your vast NFL career and experiences.

  10. I hope this guy gets another last and final chance and then lights it up and does well!!! Not only because it will piss off all the CK fans but also just for his own self. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and dedicate yourself to it.

  11. kcchefs58 says:
    February 14, 2018 at 11:02 am
    I’d rather root for a person to turn his life around than the opposite. Good luck, Johnny.

    To be fair, I’m rooting for Manziel to turn his life around, just not in the NFL. He’s totally blown his chance(s), multiple…he’s had plenty. I hope he beats his cruxes but the NFL is a tremendous opportunity that few will ever get. This kid running his life like a train wreck and getting back to making millions further enforces a lack of accountability in this league. HOWEVER, him failing to get his next chance sends the message to all upcoming players that actions in life have major consequences. You must live with your decisions!

  12. I would’ve taken Manziel in whatever condition he was, instead of “can’t hit the broad side of a barn” Hundley when Rodgers was attacked. McCarthy should be on the hot seat for that reason alone. Terrible QB.

  13. Unfortunately because if all the bridges he’s burned, I’m super skeptical of his diagnosis. Especially when he tells everyone about it on a GMA interview, then a day later his “comeback” begins. I’d bet this is also promotion for the spring league as well. Which like others have said, I didn’t even know was a thing.

  14. Typical Johnnie style. He will try to give em a good 2 weeks instead of a solid 2 years on a real team in Canada. He can’t do anything the thorough way can he. Silver spooned little twerp.

  15. He better hope his team runs a high school offense against a high school defense so he can run around by the seat of his pants. I’m not sure this guy has shown he can run an NFL offense and I doubt the Spring League will be much different.

  16. If he can stay sober the football will come. I am not sure if he addressed that in his statement or not, I can’t remember. It is one thing to identify an illness and treat it, but he is at the point where one drink could kill him. Any real alcoholic who has battled it will tell him that. Hopefully, someone has and he listened. He is more than talented enough to play, just has to get his priorities straight.

  17. I’d take Colin Kaepernick in a heartbeat over Manziel. We know Kap can play. Manziel is not NFL caliber talent. he never was. He should go play in the CFL….I’d bet he would have a good career up there.

  18. If this joker gets a job before Kaepernick, we will all unanimously agree that Colin is being blackballed.

  19. timmyp716 says:

    May 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I predict this guy doesn’t get a second contract in the NFL



    Rate This

    I stand by this

  20. Did anyone from last year’s Spring League actually make it on an NFL team’s roster?

    4 guys made CFL teams. 3 guys made NFL teams active rosters and 4 or 5 others made teams practice squads. That was in the first year. I expect the quality to grow this year and the number of players to increase. Johnny wants to play in the NFL and this is a smart move – try to shine in the spring league and if there are no takers he signed with Hamilton in the CFL.

  21. This junkie partied his opportunities away and laughed while he did it. Now he screams “VICTIM” and fans flock to his side to support and root for him? WTF? This bozo is only a victim of his own doing. I’m not necessarily rooting against him but I’m certainly not going to root for him.

  22. Maybe it’s a 2 year plan. Play the spring league, work out for a couple teams, and then next year play the CFL once he’s back into football shape. Guys been drinking margaritas and doing who knows what else for like 2 years now. He’s not NFL ready. Plus if I’m an NFL team, I want to see the commitment and see him stay in shape etc for a year before I think about signing him.

  23. Go to the CFL you idiot .. if you want to prove yourself .. two games in a league that is practically non-existent will not help that cause.

    Give McMahon a call.. you could do WWE and his new football league and all at the same time.

  24. robbyrob2 says:

    I’d take Colin Kaepernick in a heartbeat over Manziel.

    I would rather my team have no quarterback and go 0-16 than sign Kaepernick.

  25. gah05 says:
    February 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Bad advice from his agent. CFL is his best way back to the NFL.

    It’s only for two weekends in April. He should be able to do both.

  26. To me it sounds like he’s looking for a short cut or the easiest/quickest way back to the NFL. If you’re looking for a shortcut then you’re not willing to put in the hard work to really get the job done. If there was ever a case of a guy who should go to the CFL for a season or two and demonstrate he’s committed, has his act together, and is a team player this is it. Unfortunately I son’t think any of those qualities describes Manziel. When has this guy ever REALLY had to work for something? His talent got him into A&M, through college, and into the NFL. He doesn’t know how to put in the hard work because he’s never done it. Instead of looking/hoping for a handout or a break how about grow up and work for it.

  27. Pressure’s on. If he does not absolutely dominate this league, it will prove he has no business talent-wise in the NFL.

    We already know he has no business there, maturity-wise or work-ethic wise.

  28. If he really is bi-polar, that explains a LOT. I have bi-polar friends and it is simply hell. Knowing what I know now, I wish him well. He should probably play a whole season in Canada though. That would give the NFL a better look.

  29. No clue why he would do this. He’s shown the scouts exactly what they expected, that he is looking for shortcuts and can not put in the work to prove himself. He needs 2 years of humble, shut-up-and-play with a coach with NFL ties. He’s worried about the money. Don’t. Just take a contract and play and show that you aren’t who we thought you were. Show us that you have grown as a man. This does not do that. At best this just set him back a year.

  30. That league is playing in Texas. I’ll bet that had a lot to do with it. Not sure if his legal situation prevents from travel from Texas. That said, I agree that the CFL would be the better option from a career point of view.

  31. A full season in Canada would impress the NFL a lot more than this short little Spring League. Teams want to see he can play well for an extended period of time and avoid problems for more than a couple weeks. This smacks of him still wanting to take the easiest option available when what he needs to be demonstrating is he’s willing to go to any lengths necessary.

  32. I hope Johnny gets paid upfront. The CEO of the league ran a disastrous league called the FXFL (Same sort of nonsense, scouts will be looking for you etc etc…)for two seasons which went belly up and they are now being sued by more than 60 players/officials/and others for lack of payment/bounced checks. It was terrible football, a slight step up from what you find in a local semi-pro league littered by weekend warriors. They prey upon the hopes of dreams of guys who still want one more shot.

    They are snake oil salesmen, con men who require the players to pony up monies for “Tryouts” Google them first Johnny, caveat emptor.

  33. As mmack66 points out above, even with the CFL starting earlier than NFL there doesn’t seem to be any overlap issue here – he can do both. It IS puzzling why he’s been holding out for elite QB level money in the CFL insteading of signing, while literally paying to play in this league, but that’s Manziel I guess.

  34. The Spring League could have had a lot more buzz, but it didn’t. Maybe they will push it now with a “name” attached to the league.

  35. imadirtyskunk says:
    February 14, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    That league is playing in Texas. I’ll bet that had a lot to do with it. Not sure if his legal situation prevents from travel from Texas. That said, I agree that the CFL would be the better option from a career point of view.


    He signed to play in Canada. I assume he is able to leave the state if leaving the country is acceptable,from a legal perspective.

    Either way, the guy is an idiot and will likely flame out… but it’s a fun story, because if he flames out it’ll likely be epic. And if he makes it, it’s kind of a nice redemption story.

  36. No way am I a Manziel fan, but good for him. If he is serious about wanting a team in the NFL to give him another chance, then at least he is no longer making all the wrong headlines and is showing a willingness to play in a lower league. Maybe if Kaepernick had done something similar instead of taking legal action against the NFL because he wasn’t being signed then he might be on a team this past season.

  37. I don’t understand why anyone would want this punk. He doesn’t have the talent to play in the NFL anyway.

  38. dickshotdogs said:”

    For all of his immature, entitled, look at me behavior, part of me actually wants to see this idiot succeed.”

    I want everyone to be happy and successful. Even the people who treated me like garbage during my k-12 years. Being bitter, or enjoying someone else’s pain is never a good look. It just makes those who have been tormented just as bad as those that have tormented them.

  39. nyneal said:”

    I don’t understand why anyone would want this punk. He doesn’t have the talent to play in the NFL anyway.”


    It is called having compassion for someone, who IMO, is very troubled. I wish him all the success in the world.

  40. I hope this dude can make it back to the league. He was fun to watch in college and everyone loves a good redemption story. Dude fell down a slippery slope do cope with depression. It would be cool to seem him fight his way back up to the big show.

  41. Geez, people, put your ‘its all about me’ back in your pockets and wish the guy luck. Takes balls to fall from the top and have to start all over at the bottom, along with tackling to correct bad traits the NFL wants nothing to do with. Talent-wise, nobody thought Flutie could make it in the NFL, either.

  42. NinersFan1973 says:
    February 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm
    At least he appears to want to play… unlike Kaepernick.

    He is taking steps to create his opportunity. Whether or not it pans out remains to be seen but at least he is doing that much.

    IMHO this is what Kaepernick should be doing too. Stop crying victim, stop throwing money at lawyers. Just accept that the last thing people saw was poor play so they need to be shown something different. Go make an opportunity, work hard at it, and prove himself. If he is winning in the spring league he will draw looks. And if those looks only lead to something as a training camp arm take it. Work hard at that and prove he is worth more. No one is entitled, no one should think they are a victim just because they have to earn their chances. If he showed that he can deliver like he did in his early days he would get a job.

  43. nyneal says:
    February 14, 2018 at 3:30 pm
    I don’t understand why anyone would want this punk. He doesn’t have the talent to play in the NFL anyway.

    Having been a useless punk in my own early days Im glad people were willing to at least allow me to earn my way out of it not just hope I stayed stuck there.

  44. IIRC, Johnny Football had the most wins of any Cleveland QB during his final year in the NFL, despite playing fewer games than the startng QB for the Browns. His number of wins in that season outnumber the total number of wins by Cleveland the past 2 seasons. Yet people who hate him claim that he is not good enough to play in the NFL. Hue Jackson is probably allergic to wins.

  45. A lot of people accusing those who are rooting against Johnny of being petty or vindictive or whatever. I try to be a high-minded person, but it’s hard to imagine *anyone* less deserving of our sympathy and another chance at the NFL. This kid has had every opportunity imaginable, both in and out of football. He was raised in a rich and powerful family. People have bowed down to him his whole life. He repeatedly boasted about his own greatness and wealth, while flouting even the most basic commands from his coaches — and lying about it. Lots of people came out of the woodwork to offer help and support when he hit hard times. He either ignored, insulted, or lied to them all. He beat up his girlfriend, who lost her hearing in one ear as a result. He was born with a winning lottery ticket, did everything imaginable to both waste it and disrespect everyone trying to support him in the process, and now he wants back in the league. I’m sorry, no.

    I hope he gets his act together, overcomes his substance issues, and lives a productive and fulfilling life. But he never deserves to play in the NFL again. There are so many guys who work so much harder, who came from much more difficult circumstances, and who would do everything in their power to make the most of their shot. I want to see them on the field. Not him.

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