Johnny Manziel has a new football home.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner signed an agreement to join the fledgling Alliance of American Football, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, and was subsequently assigned to the Memphis Express via the league’s waiver system, the AAF announced.
“Johnny Football” comes to the AAF after his run in the Canadian Football League came to an abrupt end last month. The former Texas A&M star and first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns saw his contract terminated by the Montreal Alouettes after Manziel “contravened the agreement which made him eligible to play in the league.
“We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance,” Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football for the AAF, said Saturday night in a statement.
Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston had the first crack at Manziel, but elected not to add him to the roster.
“When I took this job as general manager of the Commanders, there were foundational experiences from my career as a player and as a broadcaster that I would not deviate from,” he said in a statement released late Saturday. “One of the most important things I have already learned is when there is an opportunity to get better … you get better. The challenge is finding the balance in what I know and what I have learned and finding the best solution to get better as a team. I truly believe that the moves necessary to add Johnny to our roster do not make us better at this time.”
The Express are an AAF-worst 1-5 and just saw former LSU star and NFL QB Zach Mettenberger go down with an ankle injury. While the team does have former second-round pick Christian Hackenberg on the roster, he’s already been benched once, and didn’t get into Saturday’s game when Mettenberger went down (Brandon Silvers got the call).
Will we see Johnny Football on the field soon? Time will tell.
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Contributing: Jason Munz, Memphis Commercial Appeal