Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats remain “extremely interested” in signing QB Johnny Manziel to a contract, despite the earlier report that they decided that he’s not ready to resume his football career, due to “too many red flags” for him to resume his career.
According to Florio, there’s “much more to the story” and there are people within the Tiger-Cats organization that feel very strongly about signing him to a contract. Florio says it’s possible they could sign him in the next week or so, but there are no guarantees right now.
However, it’s unlikely Manziel will be signing with the team, as one source tells TSN that there are “too many red flags” regarding the former first-round pick and they came away convinced he’s not ready to resume his professional career.
Manziel said in an interview with Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage a few weeks ago that he could be open to coaching at some point if he’s unable to return to the NFL.
“I’d do something involved with sports. I can’t get away from it,” Manziel said. “I’ve had to ask myself that a little bit as of late over the past year, but at the same time I’d want to be involved in sports in some way, whether it’s coaching, whether it’s doing something like that. So I think that’d be my route.”
Manziel did say a month ago that he’s had a “couple conversations” with NFL teams about the possibility of continuing his career.
However, Mike Freeman spoke with two NFL officials who have said that it was actually Manziel’s representatives who contacted teams about a return, not the other way around.
According to Freeman, there’s still “little interest” in Manziel across the NFL right now, but that there at least some personnel men who remain fascinated with Manziel. Freeman says that some feel they can still fix Manziel after watching his college tape.
Manziel received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on recreational drug and wound up sitting out the entire 2016 season to focus on a return this year.
Manziel, 24, 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.
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.