Johnny Manziel signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League on Saturday, and while the former Heisman Trophy winner instantly becomes that league’s most famous player, there’s no guarantee he’ll be a starter.
Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said after Manziel signed that Manziel will have to prove himself if he’s going to unseat starter Jeremiah Masoli.
“Let me tell you something right now, he’s got his work ahead of him to beat out Jeremiah,” Jones said of Manziel. “He’s got a lot to catch up on, but he’ll spend the time to get that done. I know he will because he’s already learned that lesson.”
Masoli was a two-year starter at Oregon, but coach Chip Kelly kicked him off the team after he was involved in multiple issues of off-field misconduct. He transferred to Ole Miss and started one year there. He’s been in the CFL since 2012 and threw 15 touchdown passes and five interceptions for the Tiger-Cats last year.
Manziel reportedly makes a salary of $122,000 for the Tiger-Cats, while Masoli reportedly makes $235,000, so the Tiger-Cats have a bigger investment in Masoli. They’re not just going to hand the job to Manziel. He’ll have to earn it.