Johnny Manziel was one of the many players out of a job when the Alliance of American Football closed up shop. He was just the most famous of that group.
Manziel is now 26 years old, and running out of paths to reestablish an NFL career. Manziel is still hoping to make it back to the NFL, though he probably could have used more exposure in the AAF to give himself a better chance. But with things ending a strange way for him in the CFL, the AAF a weird memory already and the NFL still very aware of how he blew his opportunity with the Cleveland Browns, Manziel’s football future is up in the air.
“All I want is an opportunity to come in and prove that, I believe I’m a different person these days,” Manziel told “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I believe that I’m willing to put in the work to get to where I want to be, and I’m not scared of that anymore.”
Johnny Manziel loved playing in the AAF
The chance in the CFL seemed to be the shot Manziel needed to get a look from NFL teams again.
Maybe he’ll never get that NFL shot, because he has a lot of baggage from his time with the Browns, but he needed something to change the story. Putting some good highlights on film could have helped.
Instead, Manziel had a strange departure from the CFL — nobody has revealed what happened and Manziel wouldn’t go into details on “The Dan Patrick Show” — before ending up in the AAF.
“I was so hungry to get back on the field and play, I took the first opportunity I did just to get back on the field,” Manziel said about how his time in the CFL ended. “When I looked up at things a year later, they weren’t exactly what they were when I originally signed in Hamilton with June Jones.”
Manziel ended up with the AAF’s Memphis Express, and told Patrick he loved it.
“Memphis is exactly what I needed in my life,” Manziel said.
It just didn’t last long.
What’s next for Manziel?
The AAF ended abruptly, with the business side of the league turning out to be a fiasco. Manziel said the way the league ended caught him by surprise, and that it was the most fun he has had since he left Texas A&M.
Now what? Manziel said he’ll go to San Diego to work out with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, and wait for another chance.
“Continuing to try to get back to what I feel like I was, a little bit of a surgeon with the ball in my hand,” Manziel said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I feel good, and I’m going to continue to keep my head down and keep working on what matters the most to me, and that’s football.”
Unlike plenty of other first-round busts who come and go, Manziel is still an interesting figure. He was famous from his freshman season in college, when he won a Heisman Trophy, and was infamous in the NFL for his off-field headlines. He became a regular fixture on TMZ for a while. He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015 but is still one of the most recognizable names in the sport.
Manziel told Patrick if an NFL comeback doesn’t work out, he could see doing something in coaching or in the media. But he’s still hoping to get another NFL shot, though the demise of the AAF won’t help that.
“I’m trying to not get too up about it or anything that kind of comes my way,” Manziel said of his NFL hopes. “I’m just taking it day by day and make the best of what’s going on.”
More from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –