Johnny “Football” Manziel has been in and out of college at Texas A&M, in and out of the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, and in and out of rehab for substance abuse and gambling addiction.
As of February 27th, 2019, he’s been in and out of the Canadian Football League too.
The 26-year-old former phenom has been released from the Montreal Alouettes just as the team is set to attend training camp in March. No specific reason has been given for the release, though it is clear Manziel did something to violate not only his agreement with Montreal but with the entire CFL.
Allouettes GM Kavis Reed took the bold step of telling the media that the franchise wouldn’t have made the decision to release Manziel on its own without the league stepping in. “Mr. Manziel’s performance on the field showed that he had a very good upside, but Mr. Manziel violated the terms and we all understood those terms and we have to be compliant with them,” the Montreal general manager said on Wednesday.
But a statement from team headquarters seems to betray a front office ready to wash its hands of Johnny Football, especially given his struggle to grasp the 12-man, 110-yard Canadian game since signing a contract to return to the gridiron in 2018.
The Alouettes used a domestic violence expert in the contract negotiations, mindful that Manziel was taken to court in 2016 for an angry outburst in which he allegedly pulled an ex-girlfriend’s hair and threatened a bizarre murder-suicide. Whether the QB may have engaged in similarly abusive behavior and/or drug and alcohol excesses prior to his release from the CFL is not known at this time.
Bovada Sportsbook has released a whole new set of prop lines for the troubled journeyman who was once an SEC hero. The markets are as follows:
In What League Will Johnny Manziel Play His Next Professional Football Game?
Alliance of American Football: (-350) or 2/7
XFL: (+700) or 7/1
Arena Football League or Indoor Football League: (+700) or 7/1
CIF, NAL or AAL: (+900) or 9/1
NFL: (+1200) or 12/1
To explain the acronyms, the XFL is WWE pro wrestling promoter Vince McMahon’s brainchild. The league ran for a single season in 1999 when its flashy style and R-rated vibe tanked out with disinterested viewers. McMahon plans to reboot the XFL in 2020, and according to him, the “X” doesn’t stand for anything.
CIF stands for Champions Indoor Football, NAL for National Arena League, and AAL for the American Arena League. Manziel would easily be the biggest acquisition in the histories of any of those 3 leagues.
The AAF, or Alliance of American Football may in fact be Johnny Football’s best remaining option. Nor only could the league use a dash of real publicity, but the quarterback play of the AAF has been lackluster to say the least.
Johnny Manziel needs the AAF and the league needs fresh QBs, making the 2/7 betting market at the top of the board look appealing. But winning the wager also depends on Manziel walking the straight and narrow.
From the sound of things in Canada, he might have just taken another step backward.
Photo from Twitter.