I’ll keep grinding and let @ErikBurkhardt work this thing out. I have all the faith in the world in him during this process. One way or another I am getting back on a football field this year. Believe that
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 9, 2018
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Johnny Manziel‘s agent, Erik Burkhardt, released the following statement to Ian Rapoport explained that they’ve given the Hamilton Tiger-Cats exclusive rights to negotiate a contract with his client until January 31.
Here’s the full statement:
“Despite much speculation and several comments from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and CFL, Johnny and I have remained silent and continued to focus on his training and preparation. Due to the tremendous support, Johnny wants to let Hamilton fans know where things stand and that he has been working hard in preparation for his comeback.
As context, the CFL maintains an archaic and restrictive rule, whereby their teams can claim an amateur players’ rights, and essentially hold those rights into perpetuity, without any consideration or compensation for the player. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL claimed Johnny’s rights when he was a freshman at Texas A&M, and have continued to hold them for over 6 years.
Johnny and I have done our due diligence on the League and team, which has included visiting Hamilton, meeting with CEO Scott Mitchell, as well as multiple meetings and working out for Coach June Jones. All of these interactions have been very positive and served to reinforce Johnny’s excitement for coming out to play for the Tiger Cats. Johnny was pleased to have the opportunity to talk ball with Coach Jones, who has publicly shared his belief that Johnny would be a good fit for the team he’s trying to field.
As Hamilton has announced, and per the aforementioned restrictive rule requirements, they sent us a place-holder contract in order to maintain Johnny’s rights and allow us adequate time to negotiate a deal. During our diligence process and at my request, Hamilton also graciously gave me permission to discuss potential trade options with at least one other club. Johnny and I met with those executives in Texas to discuss their organization and thoughts on Johnny’s market and value around the CFL. However, due to Johnny’s strong relationship with Coach Jones and Hamilton executive Kent Austin, we’ve made the decision to deal exclusively with Hamilton and give them until January 31st to work out a fair deal to make him their Quarterback. So that there will not be any ambiguity in regards to financial expectations, and so the public understands how seriously Johnny is considering this move, I will tell you that we believe ‘fair deal’ means on par with what Hamilton has paid their QB in recent years, despite not having much on-field success. If we cannot reach a deal with Hamilton by this date, we will turn our focus to several other professional options readily available to us.”
A few days ago, the Tiger-Cats of the CFL announced that they’ve officially extended Manziel an offer to play for them.
“As per the negotiation list process, Johnny Manziel and his agent recently notified the Tiger-Cats that they had activated the 10-day window during which the Tiger-Cats must offer him a contract or lose his negotiation list rights. That window closed today and we can confirm that we made an offer to Manziel, and that his rights will remain on our negotiation list while discussions with he and his agent continue. We will have no further comment.”
Back in September, the CFL announced that they would not register a contract for Manziel this season, but he would be eligible to sign in 2018.
Manziel, 25, 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 received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on recreational drug and wound up sitting out the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
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 also ran for 230 yards. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 31 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players that year.
We’ll have more regarding Manziel as the news is available.