Why hasn’t the XFL pursued Johnny Manziel?

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The first day of the XFL draft resulted in plenty of players with recognizable names joining the resurrected spring league. But none of them were named Johnny Manziel, who remains available to play football but not part of the XFL. Yet.

Manziel has expressed an interest in playing for the Houston Roughnecks. In June, XFL Commisioner Oliver Luck said that it “remains to be seen” whether the XFL has interest in Manziel.

If the goal is to drive interest, why wouldn’t the XFL be interested? Manziel moves the needle, far more than any of the other players who have signed up.

Manziel briefly joined the AAF, and it’s possible that his decision to join the league that was poised to compete with the XFL has caused the XFL to sour on him. That would be foolish, however, given that the AAF has gone the way of the dodo bird.

The XFL’s primary goal is to avoid the same fate. Already, the decision to pay players less than what the XFL had previously been expected to pay (due to the absence of competition in the form of the AAF) has caused some to wonder whether the XFL will be as legitimate and serious as it originally was believed to be. Although Vince McMahon seems to be willing to spend (waste) millions in an effort to make it work, he may be realizing that spring football is simply destined to not work.

Football works best during football season. And the XFL should be playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the autumn months, not weekends in the spring.

But since the XFL is poised to go forward in the spring of 2020, the XFL should do whatever it can to maximize interest. Manziel would do that. The sooner they add him to a team, the sooner the XFL will build the buzz that it sorely is lacking.

17 responses to “Why hasn’t the XFL pursued Johnny Manziel?

  1. I’ve got to think that any major network would be contractually prohibited from airing a competing football league’s games during NFL season. The NFL had to have seen this coming.

  2. They’re still making more than most minor league baseball players… They could be viable farm teams if they played during the fall, especially if teams could sign anyone at any point such as a kicker who can make field goals…

  3. Was it him joining a league that was initially set to rival the XFL OR him deliberately getting his CFL contract voided so that he could join the league that was going to rival the XFL that turned the XFL off of him?

    When he started skipping appointments with health professionals (that he agreed to as part of his contract) in order to get that CFL contract voided (and him subsequently barred from the CFL) it probably raised a number of red flags, that in addition to his other red flags, and mediocre, at best, play in every professional stop along the way, was probably enough to determine he’s not worth the hassle.

  4. Don’t know about Johnny but isn’t there another QB that would probably draw more interest? Polarizing but interesting

  5. Same reason why Kaepwrnick isn’t playing football anywhere. Isn’t very good and has mental issues.

  6. The team that signs Johnny Football will have to hire a babysitter to shadow him everywhere he goes to keep him out of trouble.

  7. Kaepernick wanted $20 million a season from the AAF.
    Would the XFL be willing to pay that?
    I’m guessing not.

  8. Kaep will never play anywhere again. There’s too much riding on it. If he signs on anywhere and stinks it up, then he can no longer play the martyr. This whole thing with him only works if people believe he’s still capable of playing at a high level but isn’t being allowed to. Once he takes the field and proves otherwise, the whole narrative is dead.

  9. “Football works best during football season. And the XFL should be playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the autumn months, not weekends in the spring.”

    I like that idea!!

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