During his brief career, Johnny Manziel has played football just about everywhere possible. The quarterback, of course, burst onto the scene at Texas A&M before heading to the NFL; after crashing out of the league, he tried his hand in the Canadian Football League and the Alliance of American Football. Could a stint in the newly revived XFL be on the cards?
Manziel recently wrote a tweet addressed to XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, expressing his interest in the league; shortly after, though, he deleted his Twitter account. Was the quarterback just talking a big game? Or does he really want to take another crack at professional football?
Johnny Manziel’s short-lived football career
After a strong high school career, Johnny Manziel headed to Texas A&M on a football scholarship. While he redshirted during his first year on campus, he still had plenty of time to make a name for himself.
At the start of the 2012 football season, Manziel stepped into the void left by Ryan Tannehill. With each passing week, the young quarterback seemed to put up more and more offense; after leading the Aggies past the Alabama Crimson Tide, he became a national star. Manziel finished his freshman year with 3,706 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 21 rushing touchdowns, and the Heisman Trophy.
Despite some off-field issues, Manziel posted another notable season as a sophomore before declaring for the 2014 NFL draft. The Cleveland Browns selected the quarterback towards the end of the first round, starting the next chapter of his career. Things in the pros, however, wouldn’t go smoothly.
During the next two seasons, Manziel would appear in 15 games, starting eight of them. His on-field production wasn’t the real story, though. Whether he was partying, facing assault charges, or struggling with drug problems, the quarterback did just about everything other than focusing on football; he tried his luck in the Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football, but couldn’t hold down a job.
Is Johnny Manziel looking for an XFL contract?
Johnny Manziel last played professional football in the Alliance of American Football; shortly after he suffered a concussion as a member of the Memphis Express, the league folded. The quarterback, it seems, might be looking for a new job.
“Oliver Luck,” Manziel wrote in a tweet. “If ya wanna boost your ratings to another level just send me the contract tomorrow and we’re in there. Like I said YEARS ago… XFL2020 give the people what they want.”
While the quarterback’s feeling seems fairly evident, there is a catch. A few hours after the message was posted, Manziel’s entire Twitter account was deleted.
Could an XFL comeback really be on the cards?
Despite Manziel’s most recent tweet, don’t expect to see him joining the XFL anytime soon.
This iteration of the XFL is talking a different path than the league’s initial incarnation; rather than veering into over the top, pro-wrestling-style gimmicks, they’re trying to play things more straight-up. While there are some notable rule changes, the XFL is generally trying to feed the offseason hunger of football fans, not create a sideshow. Signing Manziel would seem to go against that message. Even if the quarterback would provide a brief rating boost, morbid curiosity can’t sustain a league long-term.
It’s also worth noting that both sides have been down this path before. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck essentially said that no one in the league wanted to bother with Manziel. The quarterback expressed a similar sentiment on his now-deleted Twitter account, saying he had no interest in joining another league that could fold midseason.
On the surface, the XFL and Johnny Manziel don’t need to link up anytime soon. Given both parties, though, stranger things have happened.