CFL personnel men question Johnny Manziel’s demands

Personnel men around the CFL believe Johnny Manziel’s salary demands are outrageous for a player with his background.

Manziel sent shockwaves through the league when his agent Erik Burkhardt released a public statement. For months Manziel, Hamilton and the CFL kept quiet about the process he was going through and the contract negotiations – until Manziel’s camp put out a specific definition of a deal the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner would accept.

So that there will not be any ambiguity in regards to financial expectations, and so the public understands how seriously Johnny is considering this move, I will tell you that we believe ‘fair deal’ means on par with what Hamilton has paid their QB in recent years, despite not having much on-field success. If we cannot reach a deal with Hamilton by this date, we will turn our focus to several other professional options readily available to us.

Zach Collaros made over $500,000 in 2017, a pact he signed after he took the Ticats to the Grey Cup in 2014 and played at a MOP level for 12 games in 2015. The 29-year-old has completed over 66 per cent of his passes for more than 13,000 yards and 83 touchdowns against just 38 interceptions plus 846 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Collaros has proven he is among the elite quarterbacks in the CFL when operating at peak performance. That’s the reason Chris Jones sent a second-round pick to secure the signal caller for his rising Riders.

The difference is clear to personnel types around the league.

“That Manziel agent demand is garbage. He’s an idiot. I hope Hamilton stands their ground and he goes and pursues his ‘other professional opportunities.’ To call out Collaros and say he had very little success in the league is dumb. All the guy did was lead his team to the Grey Cup and was on his way to an MOP season before tearing his ACL. The guy doesn’t deserve a penny more than Vince Young. What has he done in his career aside from drink his way out of the NFL? ” one CFL source said.

Young signed a standard two-year deal with $120,000 base salary both years, $15,000 in housing and another possible $71,000 in playtime bonuses and incentives, including $9,000 ($500 per game) for being the second QB on the depth chart. He did not receive any upfront money meaning the Riders could (and ultimately did) release him in training camp without paying a dime.

“I wish someone would call his agent and tell him to tell me what his client has done aside from boozing and partying himself out of a job. He hasn’t done a thing since college… that was years ago. I hope they let him sit on the neg and I would love to know what these other opportunities are,” another CFL personnel man said.

Manziel was selected in the first round, 22nd overall by the Browns in 2014. He threw for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 74.4 QB rating while going 2-6 as a starter for the Browns. The team released Manziel in March 2016 and no NFL teams have offered a contract since.

“I didn’t think he was that good at the NFL level. If he loves football he should hope to play in the CFL and stay there forever,” an NFL executive says.

The only other league where Manziel could make significant money would be the XFL, which Vince McMahon sold $100 million of his WWE shares to prepare to bring back. But that’s a long way from happening, if it happens at all.

“Who knows if the XFL takes off soon, but he would be an idiot not to take a CFL job,” one CFL talent evaluator said.

If playing football in Canada actually comes to fruition, one front office man believes there is someone who might meet Manziel’s demands.

“I could definitely see Kavis [Reed] paying him.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
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About Justin Dunk (817 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

62 Comments on CFL personnel men question Johnny Manziel’s demands

  1. Good article. I totally agree.

    • Good article? I know relatively nothing (but I am a fan with lots of heart) yet with just a little background check (NFL have their own detectives, etc at a high level of course), its clear to see he was a possible victim of ownership politics and put in way before he should have been, according to Brown teammates
      We,in Hamilton nearly ended Calvillos career the same way!
      25% of the players we all cheer for in any league have mirrored backgrounds. Luckily for Mr Manziel, he is now in a league that cares about such things and clearly will not tolerate. Either stop such hurtful behavior or don’t come here!
      A unique opportunity to improve both skill and character. An opportunity that the NFL has perhaps been guilty of limiting via “sweeping under the rug” by ignoring current and especially past incidences that were not properly dealt with.
      So here is a young man who seems to have done so, at least nothing has said otherwise. And whose only public comment is to say i back my agent. Myself, I like loyalty like that. Maybe we are just seeing what is sometimes a normal part of the negotiations that would otherwise not be public knowledge. Either way, the end result is all that matters.
      I recently saw an Edmonton player celebrated for two years in CFL and getting “back” to nfl. Yet everyone thinks they can comment on our team, the Ticats.
      Mr. Burris, and all other CFL players and staff, you are NOT employed by the Ticats You were not consulted on how to run our business. Yet everyone, is yap yap yap! Again, you are not part of our team, try to resist the temptation to comment on our team’s business, as it is none of yours!
      Its our team, including JM (last I saw he was a Ticat asset!) and we in Hamilton look forward to raising the Cup this year!!!

      • You are either delusional or have little to no idea what it takes to be a SUCCESSFUL CFL player.

        Manziel has not been seen training but he has been seen with his 6 pack beer gut on the beach.

        Other players with issues in their past who come to the CFL or other leagues do so committed to the chance.

        Players are now saying these things and why? They work hard year round and know that partying ruins careers and teams. Burris has every right to comment on this.

        You might not hear a Ticat say these things as he might have been a team mate but others are offended by the kind of rant you’re making shows how little you understand of success.

        To mention Cavillo – he was always a top character person so how can he compare?

  2. Flush this loser ASAP. He’d be locker room poison, and every d-lineman or linebacker in the league already wants to hurt him.Nothing but bad news.8

  3. Canadas Team // January 13, 2018 at 9:58 am //

    Lol Kavis. So true

    • Als may sign Josh Freeman and won’t need Manziel.

      • Freeman is reported as signed for two years.

        Not sure what this means for Montreal’s interest in Manziel but it suggests places other than Hamilton are becoming fewer.

  4. Justin Dunk. It is easy to put up all the negative thoughts of some of the “personnel” from CFL. Easy to hid behind remarks by others when those are your thoughts and feelings as well. Otherwise where are the positive comments from “CFL personnel”?

    The comments are from people who do not understand the sometimes extreme positions in negotiations. For all those who read this Kent Austin said in interview people should relax and let the negotiation process unfold.

    Why are you not saying that the most extreme vetting has been done by CFL and as a matter fact will continue while he is playing in CFL. Johnny manziel problems were his own immaturity and Addiction to alcohol and drugs. He has successfully turned the corner for last 13 months. As a columnist can you not say everyone deserves a second chance and it appears Manziel is serious enough to want to show he can be a team player and revive his football career and show his talent to all of us in the CFL. This egotistical need to be right and make a person or situation wrong is in all of us to different degrees. Everyone of us know of family or friends who had an addiction. Let’s have some decency in sending him some positive energy to succeed.

    Remember Johnny Manziel performance was also affected by his addiction. Let’s get Johnny football back to his capabilities in CFL

    • Lennywasout // January 13, 2018 at 11:15 am //

      All the negative stuff stems from an idiot agent demanding a contract that is unrealistic and comparing his client to a seasoned CFL QB who actually has demonstrated the ability to succeed at an elite level. Plus Zach will not likely make $540 k next year. Johnny may be a model citizen now, but his agent comes across as a douche going public, setting a deadline (which he has no control over) and openly complaining about the CFL neg process. I don’t care if it’s posturing for his client.

    • John, If I hear you correctly, you are saying that this guy deserves a second chance, right? If that is your point, I believe you have a following. However, the point of the article is not about second chances. The point and thus the outrage is about the demands. He wants to be in the range of the best players in the league, having not even proven he can play up here This is what the uproar is mainly about. Arrogant. If he was what he says he is and some claim he is, he would be happy at the opportunity to prove he has changed and can play in Canada. I don’t walk into a job at 21, having no experience and demand CEO salary. It is clear with this demand, process or not, that he has the wrong attitude. And why there is this backlash. All about second chances but not when the evidence suggests a level of entitlement

      • Blue rules // January 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm //

        John, he HAS his second chance, it’s there right in front of him. Supposedly due diligence has been done and his opportunity is before him!…all he needs to do is sign. Problem is he is an immature spoiled child believing Canada needs to pay for the honor of his presence without earning it!!. Personally I don’t want him in the country!!!

    • Conan the Librarian // January 13, 2018 at 11:22 am //

      John,does your last name start with an “M”? 😀

    • So if you read you correctly “John”, you’re saying that professional personnel staff in the CFL do not understand the process of negotiating football players’ salaries as well as you do?

    • Alleged addiction. Like his contract demands, he’s done nothing to prove it wasn’t that he was completely and utterly overrated. Negotiatons can only be leveraged when you have a little ground to stand on. Manziel doesn’t have enough leverage to set his alarm clock, let alone set demands for his ONLY option.

      Otherwise he can start getting buddy with Vince McMahon. I’m sure he would love to have a “Johnny Football” name plate on one of his future teams jerseys… as a Hamilton fan, I hope they burry this punk.

  5. Football is a fraternity. So many of the coaches and football people know each other, in both leagues, and they talk. Johnny should know this.

    And he’s been kicked out of a fraternity party before. 😉

    Re-adjust the attitude toward expectations, and perhaps it’s not too late for him to get a job, and maybe start playing and earning some respect for the first time in a long time (though the latter will take a while, and it will take much more than just playing).

    • Austin in his interview with Dave Naylor addressed the question of with all the celebrity status how would Manziel be around players. Austin was clear they did their due diligence and he is not a Prima Donna he is a Team player and reports in college and pro were well received by the Hamilton tiger cats and not even a consideration in the negotiation process

      • Blue rules // January 13, 2018 at 12:13 pm //

        John, not a Prima Donna?? Then except the contract, simple isn’t it. Only Baby Johnny is keeping himself out of the game!!!

      • This has nothing to do with what I’m saying.

        He may be a team player once he’s on a team, but this is about the ridiculous expectations being set re: compensation.

        It’s not earning him any respect — yeah I get that it’s a negotiating tactic, to your earlier point. But there’s a realm of realism in negotiations too and this goes beyond… never mind the fact it’s negotiating in public, which is not endearing to team management (nor would be to team management elsewhere in the CFL, or in any league for that matter).

  6. Kavis, any montreal personnel reading this, we want JOHNNY FOOTBALL!!! Make it happen!

  7. Kent Austin and Hamilton personnel READING this we don’t want “JOHNNY FOOTBALL” make it happen!

  8. even if he does come to the cfl, he won’t last long. he won’t like not playing much, not being paid much, he’s unlikely to put in the effort to understand our game. if he does play, he likely won’t play well, and will be a huge distraction and a divisive force.
    trade his rights to montreal … if the als paid a first-rounder for vernon adams (whom they should have kept), they’d certainly pony up a first rounder for johnny f. that would be the first overall pick this year … and throw in the als’ third pick, no. 23.

    • … or … instead of no. 23 in the draft, how about NAT WR George Johnson or NAT CB Tevaughn Campbell. that would be ok too! still take the first overall pick.

  9. Blue rules // January 13, 2018 at 12:30 pm //

    @ Justin Dunk, do you or anyone else know what Johnny’s contract was with the Brown’s???? Just curious.

    • richinbanff (Rich Wilson) // January 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm //

      NFL contracts are slotted by draft position. Manziel was the 22nd pick. Somewhere like 4 years, 16-19 million total value with a 5th year option for the team. Not that Johnny got that far.

    • Johnny Manziel coming was picked up in the first round and Cleveland signed him to a 4 year contract for 8 million plus. Without a snap in the nfl he has a signing bonus of 4 million plus which was part of the 6 million guaranteed salary. People want him to sign for $75k because he never took a snap in CFL. If people here cannot figure out that he is not coming for the money just to get back to the NFL and he will shine and be committed to get back to the states. In the mean time Hamilton knows his potential and will not embarrass him with the same money as a third and 3 th string quarterback in CFL.

  10. I asked two avid NFL fans if they knew that Johnny Manziel may come to Hamilton.They replied no, and had no comment whether he would be an asset because Manziel is well known in the NFL as finished.Where is the big buzz that some Hamilton fans claim Manziel makes?

    • richinbanff (Rich Wilson) // January 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm //

      Read espn.com or nfl.com. Lots of stories this fall about Manziel coming to the CFL. This website has been cited numerous times.

      • Weird search engine results then for “Manziel CFL”.

        NFL.com’s engine returns one article with a lot more one NFL team interest, court results etc.

        ESPN.com’s engine returns two a month for Jan, Dec and Sept.

  11. Take this // January 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm //

    If Manziel seriously wants a second chance, he has to earn it by accepting an entry level contract and by working hard to get in shape and watching a lot of film in order to start learning the Canadian game. Once he has proven that he can master this game, and only then, is he in any position to demand a high salary. Until then, no one is owed a second chance, you have to earn a second chance. Just selling goodies earns him nothing.

  12. Personnel men LMAO

    like the Men in Black

    Your a bunch of fools, taking this great game down a few notch.

  13. Professional negotiators separate the issues into “must-have” and “nice to have”. Manzeil’s must have’s are a chance to start and play immediately in order to reduce the timeline for his hope to return to the NFL. His nice to have is any kind of celery at all.

    Based on this Analysis, his agent should try to get him to Montreal. This move would give him the best chance at starting. I would agree to take the league minimum in exchange for facilitating a trade to Montreal.

  14. Lol. Siri heard celery instead of salary … but it kinda fits.

  15. Stuart Tarry // January 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm //

    If Manziel is asking for 500k, then he and his agent have really been “smoking their own dope.” This is more money than he would be making if he got back into the NFL and made a 53 man roster (let’s be honest, no one is going pay him more because of his history fro: the outset)

    The risk of him not working out, or staying the course is considerable. By all means, laden the base with some tidy incentives like making the playoffs, being an East all star, throwing for 5k….

    Any exec who thinks any different, is drinking from the coolade

  16. There has not been a dollar figure mentioned by either side. What do you think freeman will be paid. Let me make it clear Johnny Manziel
    would be a starting quarterback in the NFL if it were not for the off field problems. That is the reason he is coming up to Canada and will be watched by every nfl team k owing he has talent but wanting to see how committed and if he has matured including his abstinence from drugs and alcohol. It will only take one season and he will be back to nfl. So get your heads around why he is coming to Canada. He will put on a show for all of you. Hamilton will sign him For approx 250k.

    PS. I am saying there are lot of moving parts in negotiations. Austin basically said everyone relax. Negotiations are continuing and let’s all wait for the facts if they walk away or when they sign.

    • Ricky Football // January 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm //

      But Canada doesn’t want him. Why would we for one season? We are not this desperate.
      Freeman was a way better pick up. Good on the ALs.

    • If Manziel were to be in the CFL for one year … is team management going to want the disruption and to pay for a big salary for a short period?

    • 3rd and 1 // January 13, 2018 at 8:13 pm //

      I think John has great points. I’m also wondering if John is short for Johnny Manziel. Slicing and dicing with the CFL fan. Heck I’d love to watch Johnny play in Canada. He would be great for the league. Just like Duron Carter is great for the league but even better as all US fottball fans will be watching or at least checking in.
      Go get em Johnny

    • I would like to see Manziel up here as well. If he has genuinely cleaned up his act then I would welcome him to the league, and I think $250k would be a fair number, although if I were Manziel if push comes to shove I wouldn’t jeopardize the opportunity based on Hamilton’s offer. Hamilton has a decent team right now, but their head office seems to be in disarray. I used to have a lot of respect for Austin but it’s fading, and I’ve never had any respect for Tillman. It wouldn’t surprise me to see changes there in a year or two.

      I don’t even have a problem with NFL players coming up here with a mind towards getting back to the NFL, but I like to see them here for at least 2 years. The experience up here isn’t wasted, btw. Ask Moon, Flutie, and Garcia and they will tell you that what they learned in the CFL transferred very well to the NFL.

      • Blue rules // January 14, 2018 at 8:57 am //

        RFD ok I’ll ask Moon, Flutie and Garcia do you mind sending me the phone numbers or better yet, have them call me, your obviously close to them and have already had that conversation with each of them, otherwise why would tell people to ask them, yet another child without an education!!! Honestly how on Earth do manage the recaptcha quiz???

    • Either you are Johnny Football, or clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Way more talented players have busted after Winning records. Manziel is nothing but a shitty brand with a shitty attitude.

  17. I’ve been on Manziels side, hoping he completed everything and was allowed to sign and get a chance to play. I would expect Hamilton will go back with similar contracts from former NFL 3rd pick, Young since they want to compare.
    As it must be a 2 year deal not much they can do.
    Manziel camp must b realistic. Lucky for him he is still young. The agent could be kissing ass to Johnny making terrible demands and messing this up.
    I believe Burkhards ego and has backed himself into a corner with Manziel telling him what he can get. Saying these Canadians are gullible, nice and public pressure will get the money.
    Any base salary above 150 is too much. The incentives are a perfect solution. I do blame the agent here. Manziel is still to young. The kid has been patient the last year. Each step requires more patience. Curious what January Jones or whatever his name is, thinks after making dumb remarks about his hieness.

    • Blue rules // January 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm //

      Mr. Green, do you know what Johnny’s contract was with the Browns in 2014 – 2016??

    • Maybe … or maybe JM’s agent thought the result would be a trade to Montreal.

      In the meantime, Montreal is making their own QB moves.

  18. There is no doubt June Jones was sincere when he made his comments. I am also sure coaches Jones and Sherman know his talent and would say only positive re manziels superior football talent potential.

    Some should check with walker of the enonton Eskimo’s. He was catching passes from Johnny Football at Texas A&M. He would tell how special he is.

    • Ricky Football // January 13, 2018 at 4:27 pm //

      What is your love for this guy??
      Have you not been reading the comments?
      No ones questioning his talent. Just his attitude. Personally I’ve seen this before and it will be a bust, he’ll go on his way and sell max 10 hoodies.

    • Manziel is a great prospect, but no one is a sure thing. Smart coaches will always say positive things in these situations, but they won’t say ridiculous things like “Manziel is the GOAT!” Doug Flutie won the Heisman and came up here and did extremely well, but Troy Smith also won the Heisman but when he came up here he didn’t pan out, and neither did Andre Ware.

  19. Blue rules // January 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm //

    @ John, Being special and having potential, is all great, no doubt. So just sign the contract your offered, prove you are special and potentially you will get the contract you deserve. Perhaps if you feel so strong about Johnny’s $$$ you can donate a few $$ and maybe Walker from “enonton Eskimos’s” will help you out as well.

  20. “John” sounds like he is a relative of Johnny Manziel.

    If Manziel had been humble, saying the right things about needing to work extra hard, study the Canadian game etc., his critics might have questioned his credibility and sincerity, but to have his agent publicly air his arrogance and entitlement, has showed who he really is and this explains all the negativity from the public.

    If JM is not careful he will find himself blowing his CFL oppourtunity.

  21. Hamilton needs to get rid of this distraction. Even if Johnny M signs, he expects to be the starter and won’t be happy if he isn’t. should Mazoli have a bad game, look out between fan unrest and deciding the dressing room. Yikes. So trade his rights to Montreal who still needs to find a starter. Reed will give him the big contract and his arrival should be good for the als fan base…..and if JM doesn’t work out, show hi the door. Low risk for potentially high reward,

  22. Really DON’T GET everybody’s concern on what Manziel or any other player makes as far a their salary/contract is. Various people within a organization are paid to figure out a players value and either does a deal with them or doesn’t. The average fans ONLY CONCERN should be rooting for their team and supporting them by going to the games, buying team apparel etc. To not support a player based on what they negotiate with the club on whatever salary they get should be irrelevant.

    • The recent example of Collaros being signed, while in rehab, to be the highest paid QB then the stellar results does not explain why fans are concerned?

      Keep in mind the same guy who neglected putting perfomance bits into Collaros’ contract is in the mix for Manziel’s contract.

  23. Colour me green // January 14, 2018 at 1:54 am //

    I hope he signs in Hamilton. Just to see what happens

  24. Kavis Reed is the biggest idiot in the CFL right now so he probably would pay him a ridiculous amount. Look no farther than Darian Durant

    • oil guy so is Austin for paying for Collaros who was dumped by Tampa after a week and was paid 500 k for almost no wins.

  25. as most of you know, the Alouettes are a train wreck and have been since Trestman left…that rickety stadium has a lot of empty seats on game day

    their HC has never even seen a CFL game

    Kavis Reed (last season) was quoted as saying Drew Willy is like another Joe Montana….and they’re KEEPING Durant after last year’s debacle?

    What the Manziel camp doesn’t know (because they have also never seen a CFL game and don’t know the league)….when they get Manziel traded to Montreal….he’s going to play om a VERY bad team….no protection from the O-line…no receivers….no great running back….a geriatric defense

    Manziel will be sacked, sacked, picked off, fumbled and ultimately injured and will walk away after one season in the CFL with a half million in his pocket to put up his nose with his vapid, unemployed, wannabe model gf …..does it not strike anyone that Manziel and his gf in their MID-TWENTIES have never had a job?

    and, sorry, sleeping in and missing practices and partying with Bieber while ‘playing’ with the Browns does not constitute employment

  26. Who in there right mind would take 0n him as a problem. If he can’t play in the NFL then we don’t need his type in the CFL

  27. duane..everyone in the CFL could not make it in NFL. Mr. 0-8 Zach Collaros who made the 500 k Burkhardt wants was un drafted out of Univ. Cincinnati and lasted a few weeks in Tampas training camp. Manziel lasted 2 years, made 14 appearances, set a single game Browns rushing record for a 61 year old team. He won 2 games which is 1 more than the Browns have won since he left.

  28. Alex Droho // January 15, 2018 at 8:03 am //

    I agree with previous statements that Johnny has backed himself into a corner with his foolishness. We do not need this headcase in the Hammer. Trade him. Let him see what we get in return. That should send him a message as to what he is actually worth and how he is now thought of in the CFL……what’s Kevin Glenn doing these days?

  29. What a waste of an article. No CFL media till June, you guys don’t have the substance to go 365

  30. People keep trotting out International QB’s who have bombed in the CFL as proof positive Manziel will bomb and is not worth the time. But are the comparisons apples to apples? I would submit the only apples to apples comparison is Doug Flutie. So both were short, Heisman winners, were drafted to NFL, had some appearances and starts in the NFL, and were still in prime. Ferragamo and Young were way out of prime. The Ohio state Heisman winner Troy had no NFL starts. That said my recommendation to Mr. Burkhardt and Manziel is to take the base salary offer from Austin and put in Attendance goal sweeteners. A former Blue Jay did this with Indians and hit the target. I believe the Jersey sales are out of the realm of the cap and they could do a side contract to give him a percentage of his name and number only. I would also give Manziel permission to use his name and number on his personal line of clothes. Keep in mind the uptick in Jersey money and clothing line money will be from the USA not Canada. Only the increased ticket sales of people wanting to see him fail will be from Canadians. And they can get drunk and heckle him. Lets separate whether you think it is fair or not to let Manziel up here from the monetary gain from USA customers which is new money. So ESPN viewership increase, jersey sales to US addresses. Try to keep your eye on the Loonie not your personal revulsion. He has a huge following in the USA the CFL could fleece from their USD. If he is bad as you think he is than the Ticats will just cut him because there are NO GUARANTEED CONTRACTS IN THE CFL like there in other sports.

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