According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Saints HC Sean Payton and former Browns QB Johnny Manziel were spotted together during Super Bowl week, at breakfast. Rapoport adds that Payton and Manziel discussed a return to football.
Manziel is trying to get his life turned around and make another attempt at an NFL career. Overall, Rapoport mentions that Manziel has kept a low-profile, but it appears as though Payton has taken an interest in him.
Rapoport adds that New Orleans still could use a backup quarterback and Payton could make the most of Manziel’s talent. Plus, Drew Brees would be as good of a mentor as any in the NFL.
Last we heard regarding Manziel, Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported that he had re-hired his former agent, Erik Burkhardt, and was drawing “real interest” from teams at the Scouting Combine.
Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reported a few months ago that Manziel plans to volunteer for testing under the NFL’s drug policy as part of his attempt to return to the NFL.
Manziel received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on recreational drug and wound up sitting out the entire 2016 season.
Marvez points out that Manziel is currently considered a “Stage Two” offender, which means he would be subject him to random drug testing if signed by an NFL team.
The idea of him volunteering for testing is that Manziel is trying to show NFL teams that he is committed to turning around his life and salvaging what’s left of his football career.
It’s worth mentioning that Manziel could still be subject to discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy for a domestic violence charge against his ex-girlfriend, even though he reached a plea agreement back in December.
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 has 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.