We still don’t know the specific reasons for Johnny Manziel’s release from the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.
But it’s clear that it was enough of a headache to go to the top of the league office.
In addition to demanding the team release him, the Canadian Football League declared it would not approve a contract for Manziel with any other team.
“We advised Montreal that Johnny had violated one of the conditions we had set for him to be in our league. And Montreal announced his release today,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said, via Dan Ralph of the Canadian Press. “We didn’t release the terms of those conditions then and we’re not going to do that now.
“We’re trying to do what we believe is in the best interests of the entire league. The conditions we set, we thought were the right ones. Those conditions have been violated and we feel it’s best, and Montreal feels it’s best, to let Johnny move on. And we think it’s best for our league that he do the same. And we wish him well.”
When Manziel entered the league with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, the league went through a number of steps including an assessment by an independent expert on domestic violence and a personal meeting between Manziel and Ambrosie. Manziel was also undergoing treatment for anger management and alcohol abuse after his 2016 acquittal on domestic violence charges, which ended his run with the Browns.
Montreal ended up trading for Manziel to reunite him with college coach Mike Sherman, but he was just 2-6 as a starter there.
“When we made the decision to make the trade for Mr. Manziel, we knew the risks that went with it,” Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed said. “We took a chance, we took a risk, an educated risk and it didn’t work out.
“That’s the situation. We have a stable plan that will allow our football team to advance.”
The CFL teams saves a few bucks in the process, as he was due a $75,000 bonus on March 1.
Manziel has indicated he wants to continue his attempt to play in the United States.