The Alliance of American Football signed Johnny Manziel to a standard player contract Saturday. The only question was where the Heisman Trophy winner would play.
We now have the answer.
Manziel is headed to Memphis to play for the Express.
The San Antonio Commanders owned his college allocation rights since he played at Texas A&M. The Commanders, though, released his rights, passing on a top draw as he grew up only 65 miles from San Antonio.
That means Manziel passed through the waiver system, and the league’s worst team, the 1-5 Memphis Express, claimed him with the first choice.
The Express had quarterback Zach Mettenberger go down with an injury Saturday. Memphis seems a perfect fit for Manziel, with strong infrastructure and support system under no-nonsense coach Mike Singletary.
“We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to Alliance of American Football, which we’ve always described as a league of opportunity for talented players to launch or revitalize their pro football careers,” Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football for The Alliance, said Saturday night. “We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance.
“The San Antonio Commanders have released his college allocation rights, and The Memphis Express have claimed him. He will report to Memphis tomorrow, where we all believe he’ll benefit from the coaching and mentorship of Mike Singletary.”
Manziel, 26, is trying to revive his career after failed stops in the NFL and the CFL.