Milton: Agent helps Johnny Manziel execute early CFL heel turn

Well, is this a telescopic view into what we could be dealing with here? All the time?

Johnny Manziel’s agent pets the Tiger-Cats … while he’s threatening them?

Erik Burkhardt, agent for the former star quarterback who dominated college football at Texas A&M and played two years with the Cleveland Browns, has publicly given the Hamilton Ticats an ultimatum to work out a “fair deal” to make Manziel “their quarterback,” by Jan. 31, or “We will turn our focus to several other professional options readily available to us.”

OK, we’re clearly rubes up here in Canada — where, by the way, Warren Moon was forged into a future NFL Hall of Famer — so maybe we don’t know all the other professional options readily available, but we’re pretty certain they won’t involve being on a football field, no matter how much Johnny F tweets they will.

Feel free to correct us if we’ve missed anything obvious here, like the opportunity to play in Italy. But if he had viable National Football League landing spots, Manziel would already be there; the XFL couldn’t be ready until Manziel is already off the Ticats’ negotiation list, even if he has to wait a full year (Jan. 7, 2019), and his CFL rights can’t go anywhere else unless the Ticats agree to it.

Well, they did agree to it, sort of. Manziel was given permission to talk to another team and did. It really can’t be anybody else but the mightily struggling Montreal Alouettes. Which is maybe why Burkhardt’s statement — released through respected NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport instead of a respected Canadian writer; nice start, boys — contained the attempted pacifiers that, “due to Johnny’s strong relationship with Coach Jones and Hamilton executive Kent Austin, we’ve made the decision to deal exclusively with Hamilton and give them until January 31 to make a fair deal.”

To remove ambiguity — thanks for that, guys — Burkhardt says fair means a contract that matches what Ticat quarterbacks have been making in recent years. Starting quarterbacks. We’re assuming he doesn’t mean Zach Collaros’s league-high contract for this year — who could possibly be that brazen? — but maybe somewhere in the quarter-million-dollar-plus range.

Which would mean having to release Jeremiah Masoli, whom they just re-signed. For the record, Masoli has won nine CFL games, including a 23-straight-completions contest, since Manziel last threw a football to anyone in a uniform.

It’s hard to play quarterback in the CFL, which the Manziel camp may not really recognize, but should. There have been so many touted Americans who have failed at it, including people like Troy Smith who like Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, that nobody guarantees anything big to a new player. You get paid for what you’ve shown you can do … here.

The Ticats clearly didn’t offer Manziel a minimum-wage contract, which they could have done just to keep him on the negotiation list. It’s true, as Burkhardt says, that Kent Austin and June Jones love Manziel’s CFL potential. So they’d have made an offer with respect, and incentive clauses. But, in the long run, potential is nothing more than another word starting with P. You can probably think of a couple of others.

You’re going to turn over a team that has championship aspirations to a guy who would have six weeks to shake off two years of competitive rust and get ready for two torturous games in Alberta? Explain that to the rest of a roster, which is weary of falling into a deep hole right off the bat. Some have already said there’s way too much attention being paid to someone who’s not here, while the guy who went 6-4 and helped them all regain respectability down the stretch IS.

Burkhardt also spent an inordinate number of uncomplimentary adjectives on the CFL’s negotiation list, and it does need a bit of tweaking, but essentially it’s our version of a draft of American players. And wasn’t it CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie who worked out a plan so that Manziel could at least have a chance to play here, which it doesn’t seem the NFL ever really did.

And a couple of weeks later his agent trashes the league? Which is really Manziel trashing the league because you are always responsible for your agent’s public actions.

Look, we know that pro sport is, at its heart, mostly show business. And that all of this showmanship and brinksmanship and seeming disrespect can be viewed as part of the choreography. So, other than the disrespect, it doesn’t really bother us.

What bothers us, and should bother the Tiger-Cats is that the Manziel camp is not willing in the slightest to wait it out and take the normal trajectory of watching and learning from the more experienced. It’s wilful ignorance and suggests what naysayers have always feared: that Manziel wants to use the CFL only as the quickest route back to the NFL.

So the two most probable scenarios of him being fast-tracked — which a starter’s contract would necessitate — would be that he’s not good enough and he’s soon gone, or that he excels and is soon gone to the NFL.

Like either of ’em?

This might get repaired, but it is definitely not starting well.

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 (244 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.

69 Comments on Milton: Agent helps Johnny Manziel execute early CFL heel turn

  1. bad start………….worse ending!! Dump him to Montreal and find a decent backup(maybe Glenn?) This will be a media circus all season. We have to be smarter than this!

  2. Does signing him to a contract of about $250,000 really mean we’d have to release masoli? That doesn’t seem likely to me.

    • Maybe not but what other CFL experienced player might they have to forego to bring an unproven QB with plenty of baggage and lots to prove? Ticats are too smart to overpay for an unproven commodity.

    • It would add challenges but possibly could be done.

      The problem I see is that unlike Milton, the agent’s wording says to me that it is more like Collaros’ old contract of $500K+ … which is a lot harder to fit under the cap while keeping Masoli.

  3. If no deal by Jan. 31st I’d trade his rights to Montreal and say good luck. They need him more than the TiCats do and might have a better shot at signing him.

  4. Riderfan34 // January 9, 2018 at 9:35 am //

    This is an outright joke ! If he was fresh out of college winning the Heisman maybe some leverage , but a guy who hasn’t played in 2 years ?!! Earn your money your not entitled to anything! I hope they are smart about this! His Agent can take a flying leap too !riderfan34

  5. The CFL doesn’t need this idiot….

  6. Uncle Milty nails it again. Hamilton should make a take it or leave it offer and if Manziel’s agent doesn’t like it then Johnny can rot.

    • Agreed. After all Johnny has SO many other “professional options” that will put him on a football field this year!

    • brian johnson // January 12, 2018 at 10:49 am //

      Like what your saying. BUT JM has over 10 million in his bank account, so may not ROT or need to work again if he takes care of finances.
      Also He is NOT going to sign a small $250,000 deal.
      No way. $400,000 maybe!!!

  7. Burkhardt is either a big idiot or has things lined up. Some guesses.. Futures contract with mentor and new Raiders coach Jon Gruden… Some rapper owns Arena team in Richmind, Virginia and wanted Manz .. Spring league in West Virginia.. new XFL..Montreal Als. Burkhardt has a point. locking up an Amateur into perpetuity is unfair, unseemly, and Nefarious. Think on it..They can lock down 45 guys forever. Both drafts NFL and CFL have limited rounds and if not chosen you are free agent. International baseball players such as Japanese and Dominican are free agents at 16. Solution..hold two drafts of CIS and NCAA players with the same rules for each draft. No amateurs. Only graduated or declared. Non chosen are FA. Same high draft pick salary rules whether CIS or NCAA. Any Canadian Business lawyers here? Would neg list survive legal challenge?

    • BleedsGreen // January 9, 2018 at 11:34 am //

      Marco, I agree with you about the negotiation list should be used to negotiate with players not hold them in perpetuity.

      45 players and a 9 league team is 405 players. A “secret” list so probably 350 players that are on it don’t even know they are on it- why isn’t their phone ringing? Because the team that negged them have depth at that position and don’t need them or as insurance. This in my opinion effects the quality of player that may be available to play on the league. To use it to hold a player back is wrong, if you don’t need him and he is willing to play he should have the right to play.

      The downside of eliminating the list is teams like the Riders or the Bombers do not have the name recognition of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Add to that NFL coaching “name recognition”…for example Coached by Mike O’Shea or Marc Trestman. Better guys would gravitate towards Toronto and Trestman. The neglist levels the playing field and for that reason cannot be eliminated imho.

      I Believe the neglist should be more transparent. Just like the US Draft argument is bunk because it is transparent. The neglist is clandestine and that is the beginning of the problem, A player should be notified if he is on it and what it means to him and what his options are. This would create exvitement for fans and players.

      Have to admit, I agree with Burkhardt, imho the negotiation list is archaic and could use a “fair play” overhaul. Maybe we shouldn’t be so harsh on his assessment-it’s not all about money it’s about the process, transparency and fairness to players and teams.

    • El Marco. The meg list is an illegal restraint on trade and would never survive a legal challenge.

      • Football4 // January 11, 2018 at 2:04 am //

        Restraint of trade lol… What legal challenge? You are delusional if you think a court of law is going to act in this case. Being on a CFL neg list does not prevent a player from signing a contract in other leagues. If the team offers a contract in good faith and the player doesn’t sign, one year later they can sign with another team.

        Your point is foolish beyond belief.

  8. trade his rights for a starting canadian and some draft picks. Let someone else deal with it.

    How many hotshot yank QBS have flamed out up here.
    goes back further than Vince Ferragamo.

    • No team would give up those kind of assets for an unproven Manziel….

      • The Alouettes probably would. We traded a first round pick for Adams Jr. and that in a season when when we really needed some help on the Oline. Then he sat on the bench for a few months, and we gave him away for peanuts.
        I’ll never understand that. Kavis Reed may be the most incompetent GM this team has ever seen.
        But one thing about Manziel coming to Montreal: we’ve seen this kind of media circus in this city before. Chad Johnson, Troy Smith, Michael Sam. And while they were all CFL washouts, at least so much is happening in this city, most folks barely noticed.
        The Ticats are a big deal in Hamilton. As an Alouettes fan, I’ve envied them that. But the downside is…if the Manziel sh*t-show gets out of hand, it’s going to be BIG. This kind of nonsense will just get absorbed by the rest of the background noise here in Montreal.
        Manziel should go to a CFL team with little to lose and who can take this kind of chance, because they have no choice.
        The Ticats have a good thing going (it seems). Why mess with it?

        • It seems Jones thinks Manziel has higher potential than Mazoli, where the two fitting his system likely creates competition.

          What Jones seems to have missed is that Manziel as well as his agent look like they are shooting for is a team that will make Manziel the starter. Or at least that is the theory of those that figure the huge salary is a ploy to get Manziel traded to Montreal.

  9. Johnny Football and his agent are a carnival side show that will turn into a train wreck if the TiCats sign him. JM is the Ti Cat QB and finding a backup should be the priority. In fairness to the Als they don’t need another problem as they have plenty of them now. Mike Sherman has to deal with Kavis Reed and that’s enough.

  10. Sea of Dead // January 9, 2018 at 10:26 am //

    Time to walk away from JM who wants a significant chunk of the team’s salary cap and who would likely be cancerous in the dressing room. Football is a TEAM game and a number of our players have basically stated that they don’t want him on the Cats roster. The risk just isn’t worth it. Better to use the cap room created on maintaining/improving what we have now. We’ve waited this long … Let’s get it right!

  11. Speaking of Moon, check out some of his prior charges and allegations. Johnny football, although also a horrible past, pales in comparison! All this has been swept under for years!

    • The CFL has long been a repository for players who can’t make it in the NFL. And one of the qualities that disqualify them down south is a “colourful past”. We’ve had our share in Montreal.

      Adrian McPherson was accused of forging a cheque and betting on his college games (in favour of his own team).

      While he landed in Montreal behind Calvillo, it seems that his “blacklisting” extended to him never playing a significant minute his entire career. The Alouettes under AC was just the purgatory-cage to enforce this.

      The CFL has been a repository for “troubled youth” attempting to get back on track. McPherson was an exemplary Alouette, and dutifully rode the bench until he didn’t. No doubt Manziel will be given the chance to play. Hopefully he’ll follow the example of so many players who manage to come up north and turn their lives around.

      • Never understood why McPherson didn’t get more playing time when the game was already won.

        However … “never playing a significant minute” seems an exaggeration as I can recall thinking the Cats had a chance as Calvillo was hurt with McPherson named the starter, in plenty of time to prepare. The Cat defense didn’t seem to be prepared for his scrambling ability so it was a solid win by McPherson and the Als.

  12. Spoke with an American this morning in our resort and he says that the NFL will be camped in Hamilton for the season focussed on this piece of work. He said that the NFL is done with him and that is significant given the NFL’s low criteria for hiring their infield employees. This gentleman said that he has no other options and is using the CFL as a way back to the NFL, period!!! Masonic is our guy, period!!! Honour that Kent and demonstrate that sport can still be about good character and teamwork, the things we can be proud of and teach our kids sitting in the stands. Be done with this agent and this sorry excuse for a player. Masoli is a class act and someone I want my grandkids to emulate. He is worth the money. Use the extra cap space to sign Tasker, Dean and Laurent to name but a few of our class acts. I hope Kent reads this stuff and listens to what the fans are saying they want. We do pay the bills after all.

    • yes Masoli has never done anything wrong in his life. This from Wikepedia
      Legal issues[edit]
      On the morning of January 24, 2010, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house returned home and witnessed Masoli and teammate Garrett Embry leaving an area of the house near his room. When he realized a projector and two laptop computers were missing he took chase. The victim chased down Embry, who returned the projector and subsequently reported the incident to Eugene police. Police interviewed Masoli the next day, where he said he was not at the fraternity house. On March 12, 2010, Masoli pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary before Lane County Circuit Judge Maurice Merten, who sentenced Masoli to one year probation and 140 hours of community service. As part of the plea agreement, this charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor.[40] Oregon head coach Chip Kelly immediately suspended Masoli for the 2010 football season, his senior year, but allowed him to remain on the team (he still had a redshirt season available).[41]

      On June 7, 2010, Masoli was pulled over by Springfield police for a traffic violation. After inspection Masoli was cited for driving with a suspended license, failure to stop, and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. Two days later he was dismissed from the team for “failure to adhere to obligations previously outlined”.[42] Masoli later entered guilty pleas to both the marijuana and failure to stop charges (both non-criminal violations in Oregon).[43]

      • True Masoli had some problems in college but Johnny’s were not only worse but continued into his post career life resulting in him not even playing for the past 2 years. Masoli learned from his mistakes and has never been a problem as a Ticat but has worked hard to earn his starting role. He also didn’t spend 2 years out of football.

      • The kid paid his dues…and found Christ…maybe you should do same?

    • Keith your grand kids are in for a wild ride if they emulate Masoli. Make sure they live in Vancouver where pot is non criminal like in Oregon.

  13. Masoli is our guy not Masonic. Lol. Spellcheck at its finest.

  14. Makes me partly wish he’d go to Mtl and bomb, while getting hammered, and go nowhere. Go back to the beach and let us in Canada continue to get our experience the old fashioned way — by earning it and the monies that go with it.
    Or, we can leave it up to the team and hope he helps bring us the Grey Cup while he is here. I don’t see the harm in a media circus being brought here. Not that I know either way, but I would guess most of the players have been around that since little league.

  15. I was all for giving him a chance and see if he can develop behind Masoli. But right now all that comes to mind is …CLOWN…

  16. Jim Bentley // January 9, 2018 at 11:54 am //

    Johnny Trouble! His whole problem stems from an attitude of entitlement, this contract fiasco is just the beginning of a horrible experience with this moron. He hasn’t learned a thing about being a good player, teammate or person. Get rid of him before he does any more damage to the Tiger Cats. Reminds me of a line from the movie Tombstone “Tell ‘em I’m coming and Hell’s comin’ with me!”

  17. The harm in a media circus this, in this case it is all about one player. What does that do for the psyche of everyone else? It takes awAy from the focus on the team. Look at all the latest articles on the Cats. All about this one guy. We signed a couple of key players and little fan fair. Banks is back and one article. I trust the “beach” comment was not intended in my direction. We earned the money the right way for this vacation. Cheers.

  18. I was simply comparing apples to apples (by position ) Marko. I actually use Jesus as the example for my grandchildren and not athletes. In terms of sport, Masoli is straightening things out. In terms of modesty compared to the player that has everyone up in arms, Masoli is the antithesis of the player in question. Thanks for the criminal background lesson. I was not aware of this checkered past. Maybe the Cats should dump him as well? A past is not the problem. Failure to change is. Thanks for pointing that out Marko. Cheers

    • Keith, I’m all for giving people a second chance but Johnny Football and his agent show nothing in the way of being humble and getting his career on track. Masoli has had a few issues in the past but he’s worked his way to where he is now and has earned his spot through hard work and putting team first. Everyone wants to play and get paid for it but you still need to do what it takes to make it happen.

      • You misread me. I was talking about Masoli and his second chances not that guy that used to have play in Cleveland. He should not be given any chance unless he agrees to entry level and even then I would not let him into the country. He has shown nothing new in attitude change Read my earlier post on this guy.

  19. Paul Garner // January 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm //

    Money shouldn’t even be an issue for this guy. He’s got millions already. It’s more about getting the opportunity to play and show that he still has his skills and its about showing the NFL that he has matured as a person. His goal is to get back to the NFL not stay in Canada, become a Canadian citizen, marry a Canadian girl and run for the Liberals someday.

  20. solara2000 // January 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm //

    Yawn. Excuse me, just so bored with the JM stuff. If we are lucky the negotiations will go under a ‘cone of silence’, adhered to by all sides (yeah, who is kidding who?) with an announcement down the road (Jan31?) that a deal was unachievable.

    • Paul Bomber // January 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm //

      ‘scuse me, but love the Get Smart reference.
      Yeah… I’m with you: could really be done with this story and let me know if he shows up at anyone’s training camp.

  21. why is everyone holding Manziel to a cfl lifer standard when Brandon Zylstra played 1/3 season last year, led the league in receptions this year and is now with his hometown Vikings. Everyone seems happy for him but horrified at the thought that Manziel could use and abuse the CFL for 2 years just to get to the NFL?

    • If he plays well enough to eventually get to the NFL, whatever team that signs him will be lucky to have done so. If he washes out, then he ain’t going nowhere.
      Sign him for a minimum salary and give him incentives: win the starters job: $50K Get us to the playoffs as starter: $50K. Win us a Grey Cup: $100K.
      Don’t see much of a downside to that. At least if he signs with the Alouettes. (we’re desperate for a QB)

    • I dunno … maybe receivers are easily to find/replace than QB’s?

      Take a look at how successfully Montreal has replaced Calvillo.

  22. jesus got crucified. do u really want that for your grandkids?

    • YES and YES!!!! More to that story. You stopped reading just when the good part was beginning…however, I sense a set up here and I ain’t going there with you Marco. I will let future events speak for me. God bless and go Cats!!

  23. El Marco:
    Zylstra played 6 games for EE in 2016, and 16 last year. He fulfilled his contract and did so well that he was signed to a futures contract with the Vikings. It isn’t likely that he came here with the express purpose of making the NFL – he had a superlative season and was rewarded. Manziel wants to re-establish himself to return to the NFL – the CFL is nothing more than a stepping stone in my opinion.
    This whole scenario has me nervous. I’ll admit to being a Collaros fan and am sorry to see him gone. Having said that, Masoli played well when given his opportunities in the past three seasons and has earned his status as #1 qb. Now, if you are going to offer Manziel an incentive based contract that means he has to play to earn the incentives. If that playing time is ‘garbage time’, 3rd down plays, injury replacement or even a specific package of plays to help ‘change the pace of the game’ thats ok. Any other scenario of shared playing time with Masoli de-values Masoli and starts a negative process regarding Masoli. When Manziel leaves in two years, will Masoli want to re-sign with a team that gave him the short end of the stick? The QB carousel will continue and so will our history of no Grey Cup victories since…..

  24. Dave Naylor put it well in a pod cast. Manziels agent looks around at Franklin who only three 19 Passes in his career in CFL and Mazoli who only had 6 games as starter with Hamilton and lost 2. He is not a johnny manziel talent or future franchise of CFL Manziel can bring the exposure to the CFL US football fans will know where Regina and Hamilton are. The free multi million dollar exposure for CFL is what Johnny Manziel brings Mazoli know about this situation before he signed on. There is no way he was going to stay on if Manziel was coming. Given what Hamilton would have to pay him there is no way Manziel would be sitting on the bench as his talent and potential far exceeds Mazoli

    PS Even though this was before salary cap regulations after Flutie was came into the CFL Without a snap and with less talent than Johnny Manziels College days |BC signed him for two years $350,000 or each season for total of $700,000 and the present value of that money is well over $1 million today. It is a business decision and risk that has to be protected in the contracts between the team and player today. YOu have to pay for potential knowing the talent is there.

    • Nineteen passes for Franklin in his CFL career?

      He must be a magician to throw nineteen passes to end up with one hundred and sixteen completions.

  25. Masoli has played in 27 games as a Tiger Cat. 21 of those games he was listed as a starter and won 11. He has completed 512 of 791 passes for 64.7% completion averge. He has 33 TD passes vs. 20 interceptions showing a huge improvement last year (15 TD to 5 interceptions). I doubt Manziel wants to compare to this – he has no desire to stay here 5 years and pay his dues.
    James Franklin has played three seasons for Edmonton and has obviously impressed those in the know to have the Argo’s value him so highly.
    Manziel? In two seasons in the NFL – 57% completion ratio for 258 attempts in 14 games. His TD to interception ratio – 7/7. You can argue it’s a tougher league but numbers are numbers. It’s also tougher for a quarterback to adjust to the CFL due to the motion and the extra player. There is no way Manziel can command starters salary.

    • Masoli was used as a short yardage QB when he wasn’t a starter so likely the games played is something higher than 27 but less than the 78 the CFL’s rushing stats say he played.

  26. Just heard on TSN radio that the Alouettes have been given permission (by Hamilton?) to speak to Manziel.
    Fingers crossed? Eyes crossed? All the Alouettes need is another Big Name to destroy yet another season. Then again, if Manziel can play…5

    • Incorrect, Hamilton gave the Alouettes permission to talk to Manziel during his past season but no permission currently granted (as per Kent Austin on TSN 1050 Overdrive).

  27. Great article by Milton. Great responses by all the fans! Get rid of this guy already! I don’t care what June Jones thinks, guys like that don’t play football in Hamilton. Like everyone is saying, spend the money on the heart and soul guys you need.

  28. i am thinking this not about money at all but about playing time. He knows he will sit behind Mazoli. So the over the top demands which he knows won,t be met are just to force a trade to his former coach at MTL who stated the QB position is up for grabs

  29. If they want 500,000 to play, give it to him but make him earn it, Each Game he starts and finishes 27.777.77, x 18 games = 500,000.
    Each Game he does not Start will receive Minimum Salary for that game.
    If a Signing bonus is required Take it off the 500,000. Must sign three year contract. I would not give him more than 50,000 sign. Team will easily get its money back in increased Ticket sales.

  30. Let the negotiation process be completed. Second if he is a Tiger-Cats June Jones will decide based on spring training camp and during the season if Manziel is ready. There seems to be so many of the contributors here that have it all figured out. June Jones make those decisions and if it means mazoli only starts the first two or three games so be it it

    Only one decion maker theteva d that is the coach

    • Absolutely Jones will make the decision … assuming something that fits the cap can be worked out.

      Part of the reason for doubts is how few without being out of football for two years have been able to step into a starting QB job, without time to adjust.

      If Manziel can, if one of a few.

  31. Masoli has earned his right to lead the ti-cats. The CFL does not need attitude from Manziel and his agent. Either you want to play or not. Show us that you can first and then talk money .Do not disrespect the CFL or the Ti-cats with your banter,

  32. Vic Menthol // January 10, 2018 at 6:31 am //

    It is interesting to see Hamilton sports writer panties all in a bunch when this has all been caused by the Tiger-Cats management.

    ALL OF IT…

    • Marcus Aeraleous // January 10, 2018 at 6:55 am //

      yes, people dumping on Manziel and his agent but they are just responding to moves and statements by Hamilton management. They are just trying to do their job which is to get the best possible landing spot for Johnnie. As an aside I don’t think Burkhardt’s statement is about money but about the unfairness of the neg list locking up an amateur for 6 years and trying to force a trade. Manziel knows Austin can’t pay another 500 k so the demand is unrealistic on purpose to force trade to MTL. In MTL there is a former coach and no set QB which could mean playing time. Manziel wasted 2 years of his life and knows it. He does not want to sit behind Masoli. Remember Elway refusing to play in Baltimore and forcing a trade to Denver? Very similar.

  33. dangerdan21 // January 10, 2018 at 11:07 am //

    Ticat did well when traded another QB Rights to Montreal
    1979 CFL Player of the Year David Green and wide receiver Keith Baker to Hamilton in return for the rights to sign Ferragamo.

    I think Trading Manzell is best answer for Hamilton

  34. Sutton is a beast. Glad to have him back.

    On the subject of the Alouettes: can anyone confirm or deny reports (TSN radio) that the Als hav been granted permission to speak to Johnny Manziel?

  35. Marc Aubrey // January 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm //

    Trade his rights to Montreal if Manziel doesn’t come back with a decent proposal for a rookie in our CFL league.

  36. Teddy Katz // January 10, 2018 at 9:37 pm //

    Great article Steve. Couldn’t agree more. Does Hamilton really want or need this for 2 years so Johnny can finally (if all goes well) live up to his potential in the NFL?Does not seem like the best long-term strategy for building a Grey Cup contender,

  37. Every one is assuming (make an ASS out of U and ME) Eric Burkhardt asked for 540k or whatever Collaros (Mr. 0-8) was making. He just said what recent Ticats QB’s were making. So just match Masoli and if no take than trade to MTL where I think Manziel would take even less because he has a better chance to start there. But he has a better chance to succeed in Hamilton because June Jones’ offence is tailor made for him.

    Flutie was the highest paid player when he came in 1990 with no CFL experience. Technically or not Cavallo started his first year in the CFL.

  38. I think what everyone is missing is Manziel really is a special case. I compare him to David Beckham who was a better celebrity than a (Fifa code) Football player. David was a decent midfielder who had a knack for scoring on free kicks by bending the ball around the wall and into the net. I saw him do that once live in a stadium as well on TV. The LA Galaxy made him the very first Designated Player or DP in the MLS as an experiment. LA already had Landon Donovan who was a much better FIFA Football player. They over paid something in the range of 6 M a year from a FIFA football perspective. But..they were buying attention. It worked. Over night the Galaxy supplanted a struggling Lakers team as the IT LA team. Now the MLS has rocketed up as a league using the DP exemption to the salary cap. Toronto FC has three of them and has the biggest salary in the MLS and trophies, attendance and 3rd on the Forbes MLS value list to show for it.

  39. Look at all the attention in the states this drama has already brought. The big money now is in Digital advertising and subscriptions. CFL is getting ripped off by ESPN on its digital rights but it is up for negotiations soon. It really does not matter if Manziel fails miserably on the field. In fact most people in North America will tune in to see him fail. Don’t you see? The CFL will win whether he succeeds or fails on the field. The attention is worth many millions in paid media if the CFL tried to buy it. It was the same with Beckham who did ok on the field but FIFA football fans all knew it was Landon Donovan that won LA the cups. But really Manziel is a far better a football player than Beckham was in their respective codes. Look at the big picture.

    Finally, people really this is just negotiations and posturing. Burkhardt is just doing his job and making Hamilton Mgmt. pay for stupid statements ALSO made in the press. Anyone would want that kind of representation. Stop seeing insults where there are none. It is negotiating leverage nothing more.

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