Manziel will sign a two-year deal, and he’ll be barred from joining the NFL until his contract is up. As NESN.com’s Dog Kyed tweets, the Tiger-Cats could do the quarterback a favor and release him following the 2018 season. However, that’d be solely at the team’s discretion.
“Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break,” Manziel said in a separate tweet. “Very grateful for everyone that’s been supporting me along the way. I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds.”
We had heard earlier this month that Manziel had been drawing interest from Hamilton, although reports indicated that the quarterback was wary of the two-year obligation. The 25-year-old was reportedly willing to accept a practice squad deal with no guaranteed money, but no NFL teams bit on the former first-rounder. Manziel had also been loosly connected to the upcoming XFL reboot and the Alliance of American Football.
Manziel will also be dipping his toes into the broadcast industry, as he announced a “partnership” with Barstool Sports. He’ll be hosting a podcast alongside Kayce Smith and his agent, Erik Burkhardt.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and 2014 first-round pick struggled during his two years with the Browns. The Texas A&M product ultimately appeared in 14 games (eight starts) for Cleveland, completing 57-percent of his passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also added another 259 rushing yards on 46 attempts. Manziel has faced a long list of controversies over the years, including a 2012 arrest while he was in college and a 2016 investigation into domestic violence allegations. He was later suspended for four games during the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The 2018 CFL season is set to kick off in June, so Manziel will have some work to do to get on the field for opening day. The Tiger-Cats are currently rostering another pair of quarterbacks with NFL connections. Dane Evans, a 2017 undrafted free agent out of Tulsa, spent last preseason with the Eagles. Jeremiah Masoli, who played college ball at Mississippi and Oregon, had a brief stint with the 49ers.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.