Johnny Manziel to play in the Spring League

Quarterback Johnny Manziel will participate in The Spring League in an attempt to jumpstart his football comeback.

The league, which had its inaugural season in 2017, bills itself as an “elite developmental league and scouting event for professional football talent” that aims to “provide additional opportunities for players who may have been overlooked by the NFL.”  It will play a four-game season in Austin, Texas – Manziel is from nearby Tyler and played his college football at Texas A&M – from March 28 to April 15 this year.

Players are not compensated and must pay $350 to participate. The games will be broadcast on the Turner Sports’ streaming service.

Manziel provided a statement to Bleacher Report:

“Football has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Sometimes you take for granted how much you value something until it’s gone. My goal is to make it back to the NFL and I realize I have to earn that privilege. The Spring League has provided me with a great opportunity to play ball again, and ultimately, that is all I want to do. I miss the competition. I’d like to thank Brian Woods and The Spring League staff for this opportunity to play the game I love. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I’m 25 years old and I know my best football is ahead of me.”

Manziel’s CFL rights are owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who have had him on their neg list since his college days. Vice-president of football operations Kent Austin said earlier this week that he was constant contact with Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt, who issued a statement in early January that included a Jan. 31 deadline to get a “fair deal” or they would move on to “other professional options readily available to us.”

Playing in The Spring League wouldn’t preclude Manziel from playing in the CFL this season. The team’s three-day off-season workout session isn’t expected to take place until late April and rookie camps don’t open across the league until May 16.

The Ticats issued a brief statement.

But the team’s play-by-play man sent a tweet to Manziel that featured the “peace out” emoji and Manziel responded…


78 Comments on Johnny Manziel to play in the Spring League

  1. last time I checked, JM was not in the CFL, why post more articles about him?

    If he ever comes here, go nuts, but for the time being, enough.

    • Im sensing a little jealousy Steve…maybe your teachers never called on you enough or you never got the attention you deserved maybe?

      This is news because its a player on a CFL Neg list same when players are signed to NFL future contracts tc etc etc

      Grow up its not about you

    • Last time I checked he is being negotiated with by the Hamilton Tiger Cats who are in the CFL.
      It’s relevant

      If he plays in the spring league for a month then he gets in shape for the CFL season.

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  2. Beth Dalley // February 14, 2018 at 10:32 am //

    Good luck to him

  3. The CFL needs some news… not much happens in this pathetic “league”.

    Except I heard Ottawa may sign a linebacker they found working at Burger King for 20K. He’ll only need to work part-time now but is said to be the new star of the CFL. He can run and think at the same time. LOL.

    #CFL is a joke.

    • Whatever goof. Get lost.

    • Yet you seem to be following on this site tool bag !!!

    • And yet you’re trolling on this site despite your “illustrious” alternatives. Get a life! You likely cannot locate your favourite team in “that American League” on a map, and that’s pathetic.

      The Grey Cup was first awarded in 1909, and this fact is emblematic of Canada’s primary role in developing the modern game of football. This rich Canadian tradition is cherished by many. The CFL – Our Game!

      • Don – okay, the guy is a troll but why attack with the comment about “that American league” ?? seriously.
        I love both leagues but not trolls or dumb comments from guys like you.

        • Yes the troll never mentioned that “American league” but Don comes out with an attack against the NFL.
          I love the CFL AND the NFL.

          But the CFL could use some updating, start with ditching or reducing the Canadian ratio – it leaves us wide open to the “Bush League” label

          • Ratio rule probably needs some modification, but I don’t see it ever going away. For comparison’s sake, the EPL requires 8 “homegrown” players on their 25-man roster, and MLS has a domestic player requirement as well. It’s not a CFL specific “bush league” thing.

    • BigRedMachine // February 14, 2018 at 10:52 am //

      Better get back to your station. Your fries must be done by now…

      #Pathetic Loser

      • Are you talking about the troll that attacked the CFL or the stupid comment from guy that attacked the NFL even though the troll never mentioned the NFL?

    • Gult, nobody is making you read this, kinda makes you the joke.

    • Obviously you can’t type and think at the same time. Also obvious is your jealously at someone making 20K /yr.
      If you say get a job you too can earn 20k! Looser!

    • Looking good at 56 // February 14, 2018 at 11:15 am //

      Lonely life’ eh Gult? #Gult needs friends
      Are we your only friends? I’m not your friend.

    • But bye. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out fool

    • Bleeding Green // February 14, 2018 at 11:27 am //

      Look at all of us agreeing on something!! Feels good for once. Yeah Gult. Seriously. Why waste your time on here if its so pathetic?

      #Gult is a joke.

    • I’m sorry about your small penis. I hope you find a more constructive way to make yourself feel better.

    • Jason Gult the only joke is you. If your are pathetic enough to think we CFL fans care what you think, “omg did you here Jason Gult thinks the CFL is a joke. Well I guess he must be right and I wont be a fan any more!” Go away you pathetic loser!

      • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm //

        Garney – why don’t you comment on the Manziel article and quit getting hooked by the troll.
        The guy knew that he would get a spark from the CFL fans on here. He knew it would generate dozens of responses.
        Your comment is a little juvenile don’t you think?

    • And Kurt Warner was bagging groceries when he was called up to the NFL.. and went on to win a super bowl…so what’s your point….

    • drop dead who the hell cares what you say pinhead

    • Hey Gult Man…from me and the brothers to you…Pieprz sie!

  4. BigRedMachine // February 14, 2018 at 10:41 am //

    I guess Johnny Football’s guaranteed contract guarantees he won’t get paid. And he only has to pay a $350 signing bonus….

    • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm //

      Johnny is making an attempt at a comeback good for him.
      He is paying $350, one month of football and I’m sure he’s getting in shape for March.
      At least if he attends a CFL camp he will be in shape.
      The CFL needs a guy like Manziel, we will get coverage and maybe sell a few seats in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

    • FoodieFoodnerd // February 16, 2018 at 8:30 am //

      BigRedMachine, c’mon, just a measly $350 signing bonus, really??

      I’d seriously question the mental health status and football savvy of any GM who would sign Johnny Footnote for less than $10M per season — he should have to pay at least twice that!

      Please do accept my profuse apologies on behalf of America for foisting off that pathetic little weasel on your country and your football league.

  5. YES FOR A LAUGH! unlike you people… hahaha

  6. the Spring League ends in April…………don’t think he’s gone from the Cats yet….but still hoping he will be gone!

  7. As always, the second i come on here i get this chat moving again!

    You are all welcome!

  8. Good news story for Manziel. Let’s watch this play out. There will be a huge entourage nfl and sport media. I am sure Hamilton and a couple of other teams scouting may be there. This could be the start of the greatest comback in sport history. So lets wish him well

  9. He IS going away people. This headline should bring joy to most posters on this board. Based on what I read about last years league in West Virginia the players are just about all NFL cuts or veterans. So CFL less the nationals protected by hypocrite Justin Trudeau who hates the other protectionist real Donald Trump when he sets quotas same as Little Trudeau.

    Smart move for all involved. I am not sure why you would care Drew if he is precluded or not you have been nothing but negative about him. If he plays well either ticats go all in or find a better fit at another CFL team or possibly a NFL team from a progressive region such as East or west coast USA.

  10. So at least the shirts actually back up real actions not intentions. At least he is playing somewhere. Interesting to see if the Lithium affects his motor skills. I read it is one of the side effects. He must have been on the lithium when June tried him out and raved about his accuracy and arm strength.

  11. He’s not coming to the Ticats. Why would he choose to play for free rather than be ready for training camp here? Clearly he doesn’t like the 1+1 contracts or he’d take a paid contract over a free one he’s willing to play for.

    • ok Ill explain it to you

      this is a 4 game season and ends before the CFL season starts ..he gets to play in real games with scouts and the partisan football world watching..if he performs well then he will have more suitors if not Hamilton can sign him cheap or he retires.

      but his was in Drews article and I know you didnt read it

  12. The Ti-Cat Management are their ridiculous comments – are now off the ‘Hook’ over this Manziel thing

    Lucky You Austin !!

  13. I see a career-ending injury coming up.

  14. So… does this mean no jersey sales?

  15. MikeFromMarkham // February 14, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    Hope this is the last time we have to read about this guy until he actually does something on a football field that’s worth reporting. For his sake,I hope that happens, but in the meantime, no news is good news.

  16. TimP above. This is indicative of the mean spirited comments I have been reading since last August. The Germans call it Schadenfreude which is roughly translated as taking pleasure in other peoples misfortunes but much meaner than that reflecting German history of the last 100 years. If a Martian came down here and read this board they would think all Canadians are mean, spiteful, hateful and vary jealous as well. Bottom line is most got what you wanted. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out should be your motto. For those who cared blame rests on Randy Ambrosie. Think about it. Johnny pulled the 10 day clause in mid September 2017. Why did Randy take till late December to make up his mind? He could have flown Johnnie up for a long weekend in September, interviewed him, sent him to 3 experts in the GTA and taken the majority opinion. Mr. Manziel could have been cleared or rejected by Canadian Thanksgiving. June would have played him in the last Als game just to see what he had. Randy did it if you are glad he is gone or not here.

  17. Lone Voice of Reason // February 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm //

    The TEXAS CHICKEN is goin’ home to roost. Fear of Failure on the CFL Stage. At least he no longer has to search BABEL to learn how to speak ESKIMO. That was really inhibiting his comeback plans. There goes his Maple-Syrup Endorsement deals!

  18. i am not a johnny football fan. i am a cfl and ticats fan. i think the ticats should …. or get off the pot.
    sign him or deal him.
    what johnny needs is not this spring fling intramural shirts vs. skins football. he needs to be on a real team playing real football, studying a cfl playbook and throwing to cfl receivers in offseason workouts. ticats: if you want him, sign him and get him here. johnny throwing to ticat players at players paradise in stoney creek or the dome on frid street, learning to be a good teammate and a solid pro.
    stop this nonsense: sign him or deal him. i am so tired of this.

    • That is the thing, I am not sure he needs the CFL. Scouts want to see him throwing the football and running an offense. The CFL has better talent, but I would guess the spring league has better talent than you would think. He might just get an NFL look if a scout sees something they like. The Ticats assumed he had no options. All they had to do was offer him a decent base with playing time incentives. They could have cut him loose week 5 or 6 if he wasnt worth it. Instead they gave him a low ball offer.

      • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm //

        But he needs to get in shape for a CFL camp. This spring league gives him the opportunity to get ready.
        The NFL would like to see how he does in an 18 game season in the CFL before he goes to an NFL team.
        Playing a one month spring league with reduced rosters and hitting is not going to tell them much.

  19. Jeff Garcia's Agent // February 14, 2018 at 12:38 pm //

    ESPN has a similar article except there is no mention whatsoever of the Cats or the CFL.

    Little reason for this to continue to be a story up North.

  20. Robert carpenter // February 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm //

    Addressing the Manziel jersey sales, I tried to be the first to get an official one but the ticat CEO Bob Young said no shirts Being made till he signs. Im the first on the list though.

    • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:22 pm //

      Even if he signs, no guarantee that he makes the team.
      He has to earn a spot, just like the comeback attempt last year by Vince Young.

  21. Lol. Great advice for your client there Burkhardt

  22. This is such a waste of time can we stop with all of these postings there is no serious comeback he’s just playing lunchbox Football and wants to have fun again. Let’s move on…

  23. my guess is that if the raiders don’t invite him to camp, the cats trade his rights to montreal, then its their problem

    • Moving all those games to Olympic stadium after the ticket Box office system crashes with requests. Jersey waiting lists and a production shut down at the Canadian name and number printing facility. Having to exchange all those USD to CAD on digital orders. Big problems.

  24. Really hope the Ti-Cats sign him as much as it’s annoying that he just wants to play in the NFL. I’m a bit frustrated they haven’t signed him yet, but I’m proud they’re doing it properly. In the past some teams were guilty of making these big splashy signings – forking over tons of cash and it reflected poorly on the league.

  25. Byron, yes forking over big money to Joe Theisman and Doug Flutie backfired. Of course its hit or miss. That is the nature of this business. But to just focus on the failures and not the successes is not being fair to the teams that it worked for. And why are you letting Ticats off the hook for the failure of a big contract to Zach Collaros who lasted all of 3 weeks at Tampa’s training camp compared to Manziels 2 years and a club record rushing for a TD single game at the Browns?

    • Speaking of Joe, whatever happened to Cathy Lee Crosby…the original Wonder Woman? She kicked ass in the pilot, no? Joe the Throw? Where is he? Still figuring out how McQuay dropped the football and dashed his own GC aspirations perhaps?

  26. Johnny Douche-Bag is gonna light it up in the “Spring League” playing in front of 12 people…against high school players and anyone else who can pay 350 dollars to play…..dismissing the CFL for this just destroyed any bit of credibility he had left

    • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm //

      Chris you missed the point.
      It’s a showcase, Johnny will get in shape for it.
      If he fails, we will say “told you so” if he gets in shape and does well then he is ready for a CFL camp.
      No guarantees that he will come out of a CFL camp and win a job, he will have to earn a spot.

  27. Going to echo comments made by a previous poster. This does not mean “dismissing/disrespecting the CFL”. He plays 2 games over 3 weeks at the end of March/early April in front of scouts and coaches as an extended workout essentially. These players hope scouts will like their body of work enough to extend a futures contract/invite to camp. That’s all it is. It’s not news Manziel wants to get back to the NFL, if you’re shocked to hear that then you’ve been hiding under a rock.

    For those who want him in the CFL, this is a slight bump because if he signs with an NFL team or gets hurt we may not see him this year. He can just as easily sign with the Cats before Spring League starts or afterwards He can also sign with an NFL team and get cut and join Hamilton in September. Lots of scenarios but this is the best step to get back to the NFL in the quickest way. It just may not work out for him.

  28. To give you an idea of the quality of players that play in Spring League, according to Wikipedia only 11 players have been signed by NFL/CFL teams. 7 players signed in the NFL, only 2 of which ever made the full roster for any amount of time.

    It’s a showcase and that’s it.

    • green goddess // February 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm //

      yes and it will be good for the CFL. A showcase of talent and a guy like Manziel can demonstrate if he still has it.
      Who know what players could come out of it.
      CFL teams will have open camps across the US in a month or so and mini-camps down there.
      All good for showcasing talent.

      • Totally. It’s not Manziel saying “F YOU” to the CFL, it’s just a step (in the quickest direction) in the process to hopefully return to the NFL, and it may or may not work out.

        I personally don’t know what 2 games will prove vs what they already know now though re: his talent. I don’t think his talent ever been a question, teams need to see a full body of work and how he acts off-field etc. Can’t see that in 2 games with a small amount of prep among a bunch of guys trying to show they can play still. But I guess we will see.

  29. Ricky Stanzi participated in the Spring League last year and then ended up in Calgary. So, playing in the Spring League does not mean you can’t go elsewhere.

    The whole process of playing their “season” is short. Practice for a couple weeks and then play a few games. Since the athletes must pay to participate, chances are everybody on the roster get in the game at some point. Can’t really expect much out of anybody in such a situation.

  30. Cats management has done the right thing, saying, “Good luck with your return to football” In effect saying, “peace off” kid! Let him pay to play his four games, then see where he is. It answers a bunch of questions for the Cats without costing a dime, and if he craps the bed in the spring league, that’s about what he’ll be worth – a dime.

  31. Who cares? In Masoli We Trust. And the TC D (finally) will earn the designation “Beasts from the East” this season…echoing their counterparts of 1986.

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