Manziel needs to play well in Canada to get back to the NFL


The plan made sense — take #ComebackSZN to The Spring League, dominate it, get a spot on a 90-man NFL offseason roster, work to get from 90 to 53. The performance in his debut likely wasn’t sufficiently dominant to trigger steps three and four.

Given that an NFL contract likely won’t be coming based on Saturday night’s game, the next question becomes whether Johnny Manziel will play at all on Thursday, in the second of the league’s two games. If Manziel plays, he may want to insist on playing all four quarters, both to show that he can do it physically and to hopefully develop the kind of rhythm and groove that will result in a better overall performance.

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s game, Manziel said nothing to suggest that he won’t show up in four days for the second and final game of The Spring League season. (Also, despite characterizations appearing elsewhere suggesting that he complained about the quality of play in The Spring League, his post-game scrum included no general or specific criticism of the players around him.)

Still, to get to the NFL, Manziel will need to show a lot more than what he showed last night. Specifically, he needs to show something more than rolling to the right and waiting for someone to get open. If that’s all he can still do well, NFL defenses will shut it down quickly, and then he’ll be screwed.

CFL defenses will shut it down quickly, too. Which means that it makes sense for Manziel to take advantage of one more chance to get live reps with The Spring League before heading to the CFL. But it’s becoming more and more clear that his effort to get back to the NFL will include an attempt to show dominance in the Canadian league.

He’ll also need to show that he can show up, day after day and week after week, fully engaged at meetings and practices and everything else he’ll be expected to do.

Manziel says he’s happy to be playing again, and that’s good. He said his #ComebackSZN isn’t just about football but repairing relationships, and that’s even better. The best possible outcome for Manziel — full redemption in the NFL — is likely going to take a lot more time, patience, effort, and frustration. If he’s truly committed to that, we’ll see him play one more Spring League game before cutting the best deal that he can and joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where coach June Jones is waiting to help Manziel fulfill his potential (according to Jones) to be the best player in CFL history.

24 responses to “Manziel needs to play well in Canada to get back to the NFL

  1. “He said his #ComebackSZN isn’t just about football but repairing relationships, and that’s even better.”

    Right on.

  2. My guess is he doesn’t have a clue about how to read defenses or even his own offense. If his best attribute is playing sandlot football then he might as well take the next flight to Vegas and party some more.

  3. No NFL team will give a Johnny (a first round draft pick) another shot? It must be collusion.

  4. When the picture of Maziel with a rolled bill came out, why was your tone completely different than it was for Beckham? There was no “who cares” coming from you on that one.

  5. I mean if Manziel gets his life together and has a long career in the CFL then it’s a feel good story. The NFL ship has sailed unless he wants to be a backup. Becoming a responsible man and succeeding in pro Canadian football would still be a great achievement he should fight for.

    I hope he does it.

  6. Those that actually watch and understand the game on both sides of the border know that he won’t have an easy time playing in Canada.

  7. Johnny’s comments about his time in Cleveland and slamming the Browns shows he has a long way to go to get back to the NFL.

    Take responsibility for your actions and your failures. There have been plenty of guys who played on bad teams who were not losers.

    Go to Canada, earn a spot on the team by working hard. Find out what you need to do to get better and keep working hard to improve. Humble your self and when the other guys go home, stick around and prove to the coaches that you deserve the benefit of them sticking around to help you. Every day, every play, every film session, every sprint.

    Best of luck.

  8. Manziel’s terrific college football talents are not sufficient for him to succeed in the NFL, and during his brief NFL career he did not impress. The CFL may be his best pro career option.

  9. I don’t buy the act. Manziel has stepped up his read and react PR game far beyond his read and react football game.

    If #ComebackSZN was about repairing relationships, he should have led with that, instead of “Hey everyone, I’m back to play football, ok?”

    I don’t get society’s infatuation with giving these clowns 20 chances.

  10. For a guy that is connected to football as Florio is, it absolutely amazes me how little he knows about the CFL.
    Jones has since retracted his statement about Manziel and has said he will be 3rd string on a good deep team with experienced quarterbacks in front of him. Save for a bunch of injuries, Manziel will ride the bench. Don’t see how any NFL team will sign him after he has done little more them run scout teams for 2 seasons. He won’t come to Canada and be given a starting job. Can see frustration and time wasted in his future. Canada will not be his opportunity to show the NFL he can do it. He needs to go elsewhere.

  11. I hope Manziel makes it back to the NFL so we can read about his freakshow,drunk, drug addicted douche bag escapades.

  12. This article assumes he can both make it on to a CFL roster and earn playing time. Neither of those is a given. He’s not a very good quarterback.

  13. Plenty of people here knocking Johnny Football which is too easy. But a WR teammate in Cleveland said he has the ability to play in the NFL. He said he was better than Josh McCown and he is on a NFL roster.He also said Josh would admit that too. Does Johnny have a lot to prove, absolutely but he will get a chance to do it in the CFL.

  14. So, since Johnny Footnote admittedly sucked in his two quarters of beer league football, he’s going to demand that he gets to play all of the second game to double in volume only, his low-percentage number of decent plays and add a second touchdown while losing again?

    And screw his team’s best chance to win, or give earned chances other guys who have practiced hard for the past two weeks — anything to avoid having to prove he has not and cannot learn a playbook.

    If he couldn’t even master a college-level offense, how could he possibly learn an entirely different strategy, set of rules, technique and a new offense?

    This purchased gig is his only hope to sucker in one more football contract anywhere and he knows it as well as the rest of us do.

  15. It’d be cool if you didn’t *Matthew McConaughey voice*

    Sorry, I root for most guys trying to get back into the NFL but not this guy. Even to this day he blames the Browns for his failure instead of owning up to his own problems being his issues. He lied in interviews before he got drafted about his character and acted like the Browns didn’t do their homework that he really wasnt going the be mature. Just do everyone a favor and go away.

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