Associated Press2019-03-17 12:18:38
Johnny Manziel is heading to Memphis to resume his football career. The quarterback signed with the Alliance of American Football on Saturday night and will join the Memphis Express. The quarterback’s rights belonged to San Antonio of the spring league, but that team declined to sign him and Manziel then was free to join any of the other seven clubs. The Express have a league-worst 1-5 record.
“We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to Alliance of American Football, which we’ve always described as a league of opportunity for talented players to launch or revitalize their pro football careers,” Alliance co-founder Bill Polian said in a statement. “We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance.”
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner had his contract with the Canadian Football League terminated this offseason. The CFL said he violated his agreement with it, but offered no specifics.
After a sparkling college career, Manziel was a first-round draft pick by Cleveland in 2014, but quickly fizzled out there with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in 14 games, and a string of off-field problems. The Browns released him in March 2016 He was 2-6 as a starter with the Montreal Alouettes last season, with five TDs and seven interceptions. He also ran for 215 yards on 29 carries as Montreal missed the CFL playoffs.
In Memphis, Manziel could get an opportunity to play quickly. Express quarterback Zach Mettenberger injured his ankle during the team’s 22-9 loss at Salt Lake, and his status is uncertain so coach Mike Singletary could look to Manziel to lead his squad down the stretch.