Johnny Manziel has returned to the football field, but he’s a long way from a return to the NFL.
Manziel completed nine of 15 passes for 82 yards with one touchdown and three sacks in his first game for The Spring League, a minor league that Manziel is hoping will showcase his talent to NFL scouts.
After the game, Manziel admitted that his team’s offense was sloppy at times but said he was glad to be playing football again.
“It’s disappointing, some of the things that happened,” he told ESPN, “but nevertheless, it’s a huge step for me. I put pads back on. A lot of people wrote me off just to even get to this point. I’m definitely emotional about it. I’m definitely happy about it. This isn’t the end goal for me, but I’m having fun again. I have a smile on my face.”
Manziel says he’s hoping an NFL team will sign him, but if not he’d likely play in the Canadian Football League.
“The message that I’m sending is showing up every day and going to meetings,” he said. “Being engaged in everything that is going on during practice and in the game. I can’t control what is going on [with NFL teams’ interests] and I don’t know what’s going on in NFL meetings. If that’s the case, if the NFL is something that pops up, cool. If not, I’m going to work until I get back there. We’ll see how things play out.”
The 25-year-old Manziel last played in 2015, when he started six games for the Browns.