The best-case scenario for Johnny Manziel in Canada would be to follow the lead of Doug Flutie, who like Manziel was a Heisman Trophy winner who played briefly in the NFL, ran out of options in the United States, then went to the Canadian Football League, played very well, and returned to the NFL as a starter. So what does Manziel need to do?
Flutie says the first thing Manziel needs to do is learn the Canadian game, which has different rules and strategies with a bigger field, three downs and 12 players on the field.
“In Johnny’s situation, very similar to me, there’s a learning curve that goes on up there and you’re competing against guys who are veterans in the league and know what they’re doing,” Flutie said. “You really have to learn that game and get efficient at it to win championships and be at that caliber.”
Flutie said Manziel will need to be all-in on football if he’s going to learn the Canadian game in a short period of time and play well enough that NFL teams are interested in signing him.
“He needs to be a leader on the team, show that he’s serious about football again, and put his nose to the grindstone and go,” Flutie said.
If Manziel does that, he may play in the NFL again. But he needs to take the CFL seriously, and not view it as just a stop on the road back to the NFL.