The Johnny Manziel Canadian Football League saga could be coming to a surprisingly happy ending for the former Heisman trophy winner.
The situation has been long and confusing, but we have finally reached the end of the line.
Two weeks after Manziel met with CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, the commissioner has issued a statement stating Manziel is now eligible to play for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Here’s is the statement via the CFL’s website:
“Since last summer, the Canadian Football League has been engaged in a thorough process to determine the eligibility of Johnny Manziel. This process has been conducted with the cooperation of Mr. Manziel and independent of the team which currently holds his CFL rights, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
It has 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. As well, Mr. Manziel has been required to meet a number of conditions set by the league.
As a result of this process, the Commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated.
The process that led to this decision does, however, continue. Mr. Manziel has been informed he must continue to meet a number of conditions in order to remain eligible. These conditions, while extensive and exacting, remain confidential.”
First off, it needs to be said that Ambrosie did a terrific job with this. The CFL commissioner took the time to meet with Manziel and conduct a through review of the facts. Ambrosie didn’t rush to judgement and thought long and hard about whether or not the QB should be given a shot to play in Canada.
The day they met, I wrote about why Manziel deserved a chance to play and it seems like Ambrosie agreed with me. Here’s what I wrote back then:
Manziel is no longer dominating headlines for being sued or settling domestic assault cases. This year, Manziel has only been in the news for tweeting at Donald Trump, or plotting a comeback, or wanting to coach in college, which are small potatoes compared to his prior offenses.
When Manziel was consistently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the former Heisman Trophy winner didn’t deserve a chance to play professional football. But a lot has changed over the last 12 months. Manziel is no longer doing the same stupid things that got him into trouble, and is instead attempting to keep his head on straight.
And it seems like Ambrosie noticed just that, Manziel isn’t the same Manziel we used to know.
Now it remains to be seen if Manziel will officially sign with Hamilton. After Ambrosie made his statement, the Tiger-Cats responded:
“We appreciate the CFL office and Commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s due diligence in this matter. We also recognize Johnny Manziel for thus far demonstrating the attributes necessary to continue his career in our great league. We will have no further comment at this time.”
It wouldn’t be surprising if the next time Hamilton comments on Manziel it is to confirm that he will play for them. Earlier this month, Tiger-Cats Head Coach June Jones said the following about Manziel.
“I think he’d be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones told the league’s official podcast, The Waggle. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody ever has been able to do.”