Tiger-Cats trade Johnny Manziel to Alouettes after five games and zero starts
Johnny Manziel’s stint with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lasted just five games and included zero starts. And on Sunday, the former Heisman Trophy winner and 2014 Browns first-round pick was traded to the Montreal Alouettes.
In case you’re wondering, here are the terms of the deal: In the deal, Hamilton acquired defensive end Jamaal Westerman, wide receiver Chris Williams and two first-round draft picks (2020, 2021) from the Alouettes in exchange for Manziel, offensive lineman Tony Washington and offensive lineman Landon Rice.
Manziel, 25, was added before the season but couldn’t unseat incumbent Jeremiah Masoli. The lack of playing time wasn’t considered a huge issue; Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said last month that Manziel should be in the NFL, where he last played in December 2015.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,” Jones said at the time. “He should be playing in the National Football League, and I believe he will when he gets through with us.”
Turns out, the Tiger-Cats are done with Manziel and he’s still in the CFL and the NFL remains a dream. He signed a two-year deal, which means he won’t be eligible to return to the United States to play football until 2020 (assuming the Alouettes don’t release him).
“It’ll take two years,” Jones said of Manziel’s NFL comeback. “They’re [NFL executives, coaches] waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems.”
Manziel competed in the developmental Spring League earlier this year in an effort to show NFL teams that he’s matured during his absence from the game.
“The message that I’m sending is showing up every day and going to meetings,” he told reporters after his first Spring League game. “Being engaged in everything that is going on during practice and in the game. I can’t control what is going on [with NFL teams’ interest]…”
“I think it was close,” Manziel told PFT Live in May about an NFL team taking a chance on him. “I did reach out and talk to multiple teams and coaches I had met in my first couple years in the league.”
Manziel could have waited to see if there was renewed NFL interest but he decided the sooner he could return to the field the better it would be for his career.
Now he’s headed to Montreal, where he’ll be reunited with coach Mike Sherman, who was his college coach at Texas A&M. And the question becomes: Will Manziel finally get a chance to start?