With #SpringLeagueSZN over, Johnny Manziel’s #ComebackSZN is on hiatus. The length of the break remains to be seen.
Surely, he hopes to be offered an NFL contract. It’s possible that a team will give him a spot on a 90-man roster before the draft or, even more possibly, after the dust settles on the draft and the post-draft land rush for undrafted free agents.
If that doesn’t happen, Manziel will have to decide whether to accept an offer to play for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The only problem? The CFL requires a two-year commitment.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the CFL won’t soften its rules to lure Manziel. The issue has been taken to the CFL league office, and possibly to the league’s ownership meetings. The Canadian league persistently and consistently refuses to give Manziel a way out.
The easiest path would be to provide Manziel with a buyout option. They just won’t do it. And that attitude potentially is keeping the CFL from getting a shot on a short-term basis at talented players who hope to attract the NFL’s attention, and who want the flexibility to be, essentially, called up.
If Manziel declines to play in the CFL, he could land a spot in the fledgling Alliance of American Football, an eight-team spring league that will launch in 2019. “Everything is on the table,” the source said; the AAF would give Manziel a chance to get game reps and then make it to the NFL before November 2019, the expiration of a two-year commitment in Canada.
However it plays out, Manziel seems to be determined to continue to play football. Given his improvement from Saturday to Thursday, who knows how effective he’d be if he gets more live reps?