Johnny Manziel has been linked to the Canadian Football League (CFL) for months, and it seems he may finally be on the verge of making his return to football. Manziel first worked out for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats - coached by former SMU coach June Jones - back in April, and the TiCats acquired Manziel’s contract rights shortly thereafter. While he was ruled ineligible for the 2017 season, it appears they have now cleared the way for his potential return to pro football in 2018.
It should be noted that the CFL season begins in June and ends in November.
CFL announces it will approve a contract for Johnny Manziel to play in 2018. #CFL— David William Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) December 28, 2017
Per a statement from the CFL:
“Since last summer, the Canadian Football League has been engaged in a thorough process to determine the eligibility of Johnny Manziel. This process has been conducted with the cooperation of Mr. Manziel and independent of the team which currently holds his CFL rights, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It has included an ongoing assessment by an independent expert on the issue of violence against women, a review by legal counsel, and an in-person interview of Mr. Manziel conducted by the Commissioner. As well, Mr. Manziel has been required to meet a number of conditions set by the league. As a result of this process, the Commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated. The process that led to this decision does, however, continue. Mr. Manziel has been informed he must continue to meet a number of conditions in order to remain eligible. These conditions, while extensive and exacting, remain confidential.”
Following an unceremonious exit from the Cleveland Browns in March 2016, Manziel’s personal life continued to draw headlines as he was often seen out at clubs, virtually always with a drink in hand. His troubles culminated with a domestic violence/assault charge that was ultimately dismissed, with Manziel agreeing to stringent conditions in late 2016.
We haven’t heard nearly as much from Johnny in 2017, and we hope that no news is good news. He is now engaged, and with his personal life seemingly in a better place, let’s hope we can see him return to the football field in 2018.