Milton: Ticats offer to Johnny Manziel hardly a surprise

The surprise would have been if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hadn’t offered Johnny Manziel a contract.

As expected, and virtually confirmed all last week by vice-president of football operations Kent Austin, the CFL team has offered the quarterback a CFL contract, meeting a noon Sunday league-set deadline required for the Ticats to keep the talented, but controversial, quarterback on their 45-man negotiation list.

“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,” the Tiger-Cats said in a released statement. “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.”

A CFL spokesperson confirmed to The Spectator that an offer had been made, adding that “it’s between the two parties now.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie took over the Manziel file in late September after meeting with the former Texas A&M star who’d had well-publicized off-field problems in both college and at the professional level with the Cleveland Browns (a domestic violence charge since dropped, an NFL substance-abuse suspension, a slew of social media postings around his partying). He met with Manziel and had him assessed by an expert in the prevention of domestic violence but said he couldn’t play in the league in 2017.

Ambrosie did, however, leave the door open for Manziel to sign a contract if he met certain, unreleased, conditions. On December 28, the commissioner announced that Manziel had met those conditions and theTicats could offer him a contract, but had only 10 days to do so or he would be removed from their negotiation list to become a CFL free agent.

Austin had said the team would be ‘foolish’ to walk away from such an asset: the former Heisman Trophy winner could eventually play for the Ticats (current No. 1 Jeremiah Masoli signed a two-year deal for starter’s money last week) or his rights could be traded.

By offering him a contract the Tiger-Cats retain his negotiation list rights for another year, even if they don’t sign him. However, in at least the last 12 years no CFL neg list player who was offered a contract remained on that team’s list for the full year, a league official has told The Spectator.

And Austin and head coach June Jones have both been effusive in their praise of Manziel’s CFL potential.

The offer likely came Saturday, as late that night Manziel himself playfully stirred the waters, returning to social media interaction for the first time in seven months.

“Just wait on it, Comeback SZN” Manziel wrote in two Instagram posts.

Steve Milton

Steve Milton

Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.
Steve Milton
Steve Milton
About Steve Milton (235 Articles)
Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.

17 Comments on Milton: Ticats offer to Johnny Manziel hardly a surprise

  1. I’m still not sold on Manziel being the answer? Should he sign with the Cats, is the circus that will follow him worth it? Only time will tell!

  2. Manziel will not being signing here.I suspect the reason Manziel was tweeting is it was confirmed yesterday that his Mentor and personal QB coach MR Gruden is now the Raiders Head Coach.Gruden tried to convince the Raiders to choose Manziel over Carr and worked with Johnny football prior to the draft and I believe a little after the draft.Besides most high draft picks receive a second or third chance and Manziel has stayed out of trouble over the last year.What a surprise the CFL and Randy Ambrosie screwed the Cats again with their PR Charade we are just doing our due diligence give me a F—ing break look at some of the players brought in by Popp and Jones and besides the league is not filled with choir boys.While the league wasted months on their Charade game a better opportunity might have opened up for the former Heisman Trophy Winner!

    • Jerry Richardson // January 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm //

      You absolutely have no clue whatsoever. Mark Davis has been trying to get Gruden for years. He ORDERED his to GM to take Carr BECAUSE of Gruden! Please do get your facts straight before trolling here, Bigplay. And there is no chance – none – that Manziel ever plays in the NFL again. It’s not just that he’s a headcase, it’s also that he is a coach-killer who has proven he cannot run an offense. (He had Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator and was still a complete bust.)

    • did you notice the Canadian flag in his tweet he will be in Hamilton come spring

  3. Jon Gruden will not go after Manziel. He loves Carr and also raved about Connor Cook.
    I am pretty sure he will now eventually sign in Steeltown. He may not sign this contract and who knows what the offer is, could be league minimum agreed by both sides to continue negotiations. Minimum contracts are usually for rookies with no pro football experience I assume. Could be wrong.
    Anyway, come camp, he will be a Tigercat.

  4. Jerry Richardson // January 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm //

    Kavis Reed and Johnny Headcase seem a perfect fit for a team that is destined to win 3 games or less, don’t you think? Go ahead, Kavis. Trade some assets for this loser. You know you want to.

    • whodathunkit // January 7, 2018 at 7:29 pm //

      An American coach and QB that never played CFL and Kavis. I wonder how many men they would field per play.

  5. If Manziel is getting any kind of good advice then it would be telling him to go to Canada, play football, and keep your nose clean for a couple of years. That is the best thing he could do for his career on either side of the boarder.

    • Unless his agent knows for sure there is no NFL opportunity – why would they cut their fee by getting Manziel to go the CFL route?

      At this point, the only key is to be working out. It won’t hurt him or the Cats, up until he starts missing training camp.

  6. Jerry Richardson you are clues Manziel Can not run a Offense Eh because a couple games in your Rookie year no less on the Browns proves that right and he is the only freshman to win a Heisman and that was not a system orientated Offence that was improvising at its best! And the Browns Offence was Electric right? Also you can pull up articles on Gruden saying manziel was the best QB in the Draft yes he loves Carr now hindsight is a Great tool for every one.Not trolling on here expresses my opinion on here just like you we will have to wait and see who is correct but I doubt Manziel will be in the CFL in 2018 he will get a second chance south of the border.

  7. Johnny Manziel if he is not signed by nfl club in a month or so will sign a contract with a cfl team. The only reason he is not playing in nfl is his addictions and actions NOT his talent as he would be a starter today.

    Question for all the people who have negative comments on this site about Johnny Manziel. What will you say when he becomes a top quarterback in the cfl. What negativity can you come up with. I know that you will have to be humbled and apologize to the man after all those destructive and negative comments you made about someone trying to rehabilitate himself and play football. When that day comes your will see the benifits of Johnny Manziels presence in the cfl.

    • John, try doing your homework on this guy. His shenanigans have been well documented and have graced the headlines for the the last five years. This is not a second chance, or a third, or even a fourth for that matter! Playing football is the last thing this kid need right now. He needs to be getting some help to put his life in order.

  8. First he has to stay sober…long shot. Second he has to learn how to play football at a much faster pace no time for swigs during plays. He will go nowhere in this league. If he does do well he will be gone in two years back to the NFL because they will all be watching how he does. Do not like the guy, never did when he played for Cleveland, he is all about himself and not his team Big F-.

  9. This is just good business by the Ticats. Whether they want him or not, they own him for another year, or they trade his rights to someone else. Unfortunately, the most likely CFL buyer is Montreal, and I’m sure they’d prefer not to put him in their division, but it would come down to what’s being offered for Johnny Football’s rights. The successful CFL teams all have two start-ready QBs, so I’m sure Hamilton’s Plan A would be to see first hand what Manziel’s got. Depends on the caliber of the gun pointed at your head.

  10. Cats have 3 qbs signed and usually they go into camp with 4 or more. Why not Manziel? They would be stupid not to sign him and see what he can do.
    Frank talks like he’s on skid row. So what if he parties.

  11. Let me be clear I have followed Johnny Manziel and watched him play full games for 2 years at Texas A&M. I followed his career everyday. He has been drug and alcohol free with no partying for one year. He is being monitored by cfl pursuant to agreement reached with cfl. He is only here for that second chance to play football. His talent is not at issue as it never was even in NFL. It was the partying and substance abuse. To continue to get so negative with personal attacks for someone you don’t know is ludicrous. I will be the first to abandon ship if Manziel blows his second chance. That being said a little bit of positive energy from all fans in cfl will go a long way.

  12. david livesey // January 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm //

    go Johnny go!! I would love to see him in black and gold. To heck with big market teams the cats need a cup and if Johnny can help so be it. I also know a lot of season ticket holders not toooo enamored with the cats right now and his signing I think could only help with renewals. Kent I still believe in you.

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