As the deadline approaches, the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats are taking steps to move forward with a contract for quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Tiger-Cats Must Reach ‘Fair Deal’ with Johnny Manziel by Jan. 31
The Tiger-Cats currently hold Manziel’s exclusive negotiation rights in the Canadian Football League. However, they will need to reach a deal by the end of the month or risk losing him to another team.
According to Manziel’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, Hamilton has until Jan. 31 to “work out a fair deal” with the 25 year-old QB. More specifically, Burkhardt said they expect an offer “on par with what Hamilton has paid their QB in recent years, despite not having much on-field success.”
Last month, the CFL revealed its determination that Manziel would be eligible to play in the league. The CFL’s statement explained that Commissioner Randy Ambrosie was prepared to approve a contract for Manziel, should one be negotiated. The eligibility decision followed an investigation into the 25 year-old’s troubled history. The vetting process took months after the quarterback and his agent notified the league that they want to play there.
The CFL’s evaluation “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,” the statement read. Manziel will have to meet certain requirements if he plays in the CFL and violation of the leaugue’s standards will meet a penalty. The commissioner, however, did not divulge the details of those conditions.
Tiger-Cats Head Coach June Jones Thinks Manziel Would be ‘Best Player’ in CFL History
Although it’s not yet a done deal, Hamilton’s head coach June Jones certainly has high hopes for Manziel. Jones praised the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, saying “I think he’d be the best player to ever play up here. He can throw it and he can run it like nobody ever has been able to do.”
Manziel, a former Texas A&M quarterback, was a first-round NFL draft pick in 2014. However, his (brief) NFL record was less than stellar. He only made eight career starts for the Cleveland Browns, producing a 74.4 quarterback rating and a 2-6 record. Manziel was released by the Cleveland Browns in March of 2016.
According to ESPN, the Tiger-Cats can only make a minimum offer to Manziel – equivalent to about $43,500 USD for two years. Manziel certainly has talent and a stint in the CFL could potentially lead him back to the NFL one day.