johnny manziel-cfl

Johnny Manziel’s wild ride through the NFL probably ensured that he’ll never suit up there again. Since he still wants to prove himself, the embattled Johnny Football went north in search of opportunity with the Canadian Football League. However, that hasn’t panned out so smoothly either so far. Some of that might have to do with the franchise he’s contractually obligated to play for.

Manziel’s rights were snapped up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who put the quarterback on their exclusive negotiating list several years back, perhaps knowing there was a chance he wouldn’t work out with the Cleveland Browns (which he did not). Those are the same Tiger-Cats who recently hired June Jones as their head coach and found themselves in a hornet’s nest of controversy when they briefly hired former Baylor coach Art Briles as an assistant. The decision-making abilities of Hamilton’s front office are certainly not winning any award anytime soon.

Still, the team did work out Manziel back in August although no offers were made. Ticats’ vice-president of football operations Kent Austin said at the time that “we’re not interested in signing Johnny right now,” but that the team is “still interested in Johnny Manziel. He’s on our neg list for a reason.” An anonymous source said that the team saw “too many red flags” with the QB.

Fast-forward to the middle of September and the Ticats remain uninterested in actually signing Johnny, so Manziel’s agent recently notified Hamilton that he would like to invoke a 10-day window clause that requires the team to either offer him a contract or renounce his rights. That’s where things got weird because the CFL announced Friday that it the league was extending that window to allow for further evaluation of Manziel.

According to TSN, Manziel is required to meet with commissioner Randy Ambrosie to discuss his involvement in a domestic violence dispute before being eligible to play in the league. Manziel was accused of hitting and threatening his then-girlfriend but those charges were dismissed in 2016.

If Hamilton does renounce their rights to Manziel, any other CFL team can acquire those rights but his availability would still be contingent on the CFL’s evaluation process. If the Ticats instead offer Manziel and offer and he turns it down, he must wait an entire year on the team’s negotiation list before his rights are renounced.


About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed,, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.