Arena Football League commissioner Scott Butera tells TMZ that his league would be a great place for QB Johnny Manziel to begin making a comeback.
“We could provide a strong platform for him to demonstrate that he is back,” Butera said. “We would also work with him and provide him whatever help he needed to live a healthy life.”
There have been a number of players to sign on with an AFL team before making it or returning to the NFL.
Earlier this week, the NFL handed down a four-game suspension to Manziel for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. However, Manziel wouldn’t have to serve the suspension if he misses the first four weeks of the 2016 season.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN later reported that Manziel has indicated to people privately that he felt his best chance of returning to the NFL could be to wait until the 2017 season. Fowler added that it’s “all but certain” he won’t play in 2016.
An NFL personnel executive tells Fowler that NFL teams are no longer looking at Manziel “through a prism.”
“It’s about getting his life on track,” the executive told Fowler. “That’s it.”
Mike Garafolo mentioned earlier in the day that Manziel is considered “radioactive” to NFL teams right now.
Manziel said recently that he plans to get sober in the coming weeks and focus on football again, and a source told Fowler that he believes former Manziel is, in fact, serious about getting sober and focusing on playing in the NFL again.
“I do believe he’s serious,” the source told Fowler. “He’s talked for a while about knuckling down, getting ready and working out. It’s more about health and having options and feeling good. If that works out for this season, great. But if not, that’s OK too.”
Fowler’s source wasn’t sure if Manziel would need to go to rehab.
Manziel, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Browns back in 2014. He was in the second year of his four-year, $8,247,250 rookie contract when the Browns cut him loose at the start of the 2016 league year.
Manziel wound up clearing waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent.
In 2015, Manziel appeared in nine games and thrown for 1,500 yards while completing 57.8 percent of his passes to go along with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Manziel has also ran for 230 yards. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 31 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Manziel as the news is available.