Johnny Manziel is coming to Canada.
After months of speculation, the controversial former Heisman Trophy winner has signed a contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break,” Manziel announced on Twitter. “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.”
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) May 19, 2018
A first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, “Johnny Football” hasn’t played a pro football game since he was released prior to the 2016 NFL season.
“We’re excited to add Johnny Manziel to our roster, particularly getting it done now so that Johnny can join his new teammates and the coaching staff for a full training camp,” said Ticats head coach June Jones. “We feel like we’ve got an excellent group of quarterbacks, and the addition of Johnny only improves our football team in our pursuit of the ultimate goal, which is to win a Grey Cup Championship.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Manziel performs in the CFL. If he expects to come in and dominate the league, he could get a rude awakening. Better players from south of the border have not had an easy time in the Canadian league.
Due to Manziel’s well-documented off-field problems, the CFL has been extra careful before granting him the ability to sign a contract. On Saturday, the league released this statement explaining the process:
In December, 2017, the Canadian Football League issued a statement which said it had been engaged in a thorough process to determine the eligibility of Johnny Manziel, whose CFL rights were and are held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. That process included an assessment by an independent expert on domestic violence (the CFL has a formal policy on violence against women), a review by legal counsel, and an in-person discussion conducted by the Commissioner.
The league stated then that it was prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel for the 2018 season provided one was negotiated and he continued to meet a number of conditions set by the league. (While these conditions are confidential, out of respect for laws governing personal privacy, they are extensive and exacting.)
Recently, the league was informed that Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats were close to reaching an agreement. Subsequent inquiry confirmed Mr. Manziel has been meeting the league’s conditions. The league then advised him and the Tiger-Cats it would approve and register a contract for Mr. Manziel, who has also been informed that he must continue to meet these conditions to maintain his eligibility.
As is the case with all of our players reporting to training camps this weekend, we wish him and his team the best of luck as they prepare for the upcoming CFL season.
Here’s Hamilton’s 2018 schedule:
|Sat. June 16||Hamilton||Calgary|
|Fri. June 22||Hamilton||Edmonton|
|Fri. June 29||Winnipeg||Hamilton|
|Thur. July 5||Hamilton||Saskatchewan|
|Thur. July 19||Saskatchewan||Hamilton|
|Sat. July 28||Ottawa||Hamilton|
|Fri. Aug. 3||Hamilton||Montreal|
|Fri. Aug. 10||Hamilton||Winnipeg|
|Thur. Aug. 23||Edmonton||Hamilton|
|Mon. Sept. 3||Toronto||Hamilton|
|Sat. Sept. 8||Hamilton||Toronto|
|Sat. Sept. 15||Calgary||Hamilton|
|Sat. Sept. 22||Hamilton||B.C.|
|Sat. Sept. 29||B.C.||Hamilton|
|Fri. Oct. 12||Hamilton||Toronto|
|Fri. Oct. 19||Hamilton||Ottawa|
|Sat. Oct. 27||Ottawa||Hamilton|
|Sat. Nov. 3||Montreal||Hamilton|