What Does the Future Hold for Johnny Football?

When he signed for the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the future was bright for Johnny Manziel, who was expected to be a huge hit in the National Football League in the United States after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

The Browns refused to rush their rookie through in the 2014 campaign as he only played five games, scoring just one rushing touchdown. A year later, however, Manziel soon became Cleveland’s starting QB where he played ten games across the season.

Unfortunately for the man who is often referred to as ‘Johnny Football’, his career became quite a whirlwind in 2016 as he was released by Cleveland due to a number of disciplinary issues. Although the Browns pinned their hopes on the Texan to lead them back to success, they accepted they could no longer ignore the issues their young QB was creating off the field.

Manziel made a return to football in early 2018 for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL. In 2017 the Tiger-Cats placed the former Browns man on their negotiation list. That led to a long-drawn-out process that went on until May 2018 before the former Browns man signed a deal. Manziel spent six weeks on the bench for the Canadian team but never made it onto the field.

The Texas AM&M quarterback did eventually feature in the CFL in 2018 with the Montreal Alouettes where he was traded by the Tiger-Cats. He played for them eight times, scoring five touchdowns. Given his background and character, football fans in Canada were keen to tune in to watch Manziel play in the league, as viewing figures on the CFL on TSN were up 4% in 2018 than the previous year, however, Montreal’s games were up a whopping 14.4%.

This is particularly impressive given that viewers today watch games via other platforms such as online streams and through betting website, which don’t always reflect in the TV ratings.

Manziel’s latest spell came with the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football. The 26-year-old played twice before the league suspended football operations after just eight weeks.

CFL Ban Manziel from Returning to the League

Manziel was expected to return to Montreal in 2019 to compete with Antonio Popkin and Vernon Adams for the starting quarterback role. In February, though, the CFL ordered the Alouettes to release him from his contract as he had missed several compulsory meetings leaving the quarterback’s career hanging by the thread once again.

This latest setback leaves Manziel with very few options. One avenue the quarterback may explore next year is the reformed XFL, which is owned by Vince McMahon. The league begins again in 2020 where there will be eight teams across two different conferences.

Manziel still has ambitions of playing in the NFL again, something which looks unlikely now. Given the quality of the young quarterbacks which have recently broken into the league such as Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield, the former first overall pick may have been left behind.

Although he is a free agent, wherever Johnny Football’s next adventure takes him, one thing is for sure, he will still be box office as Manziel continues to have a big following of fans who enjoy watching the Texan play the game.

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