Why Tuesday’s Manziel news is a little different than the usual fare

Here’s why Tuesday’s Johnny Manziel news should be treated a little bit differently than Monday’s Johnny Manziel news or the Johnny Manziel news that will inevitably follow every day for the foreseeable future.

For the first time, it seems like he (and his agent) might actually see the CFL as a reasonable place to play football and not some unfortunate but necessary backwater stopover on his way to surefire NFL greatness.

Manziel worked out at the Texas A&M pro day on Tuesday, putting his football skills on display for the second time in less than a week. And while pundits pored over the tape and made bold proclamations on his state of professional readiness, it was what he said afterward about returning to the NFL that turned the usual media circus surrounding Manziel into a full, three-alarm frenzy (at least by Canadian standards.)

“If something pops up, it pops up,” Manziel said. “If not and I don’t get the opportunity to go back I’m going to go play in the CFL and things are going to be fine.”

Manziel and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, have been dancing around the idea of bringing Johnny’s talents north of the border for some time now but this was the first time Manziel addressed the CFL publicly as a legitimate option. And Burkhardt, who was last seen making outrageous demands and imposing meaningless deadlines on the Ticat negotiations, was even more complimentary towards the team and the league.

“We’ve talked about it, we’ve vetted it, I’ve spoken to the guys in Hamilton and I think they’re a really good group,” Burkhardt said, mentioning vice president of football operations Kent Austin, head coach June Jones and team CEO Scott Mitchell by name. “It’s a really interesting and a good, positive fit for him if he decides to go that route. I think it’s a very viable option.”

Burkhardt said the NFL remains Manziel’s focus and while that’s rubbed some hardcore Canadian fans the wrong way, its true of almost every American player until they sign with a CFL club – and for some, that fixation never goes away. But Burkhardt says Manziel understands he can’t just show up in Hamilton and dominate – and that seems like progress, too.

“Obviously playing the demanding position of quarterback, it’s not like he can show up a week before the Canadian or any other season starts and go ball,” Burkhardt said. “He’s got to learn the system get comfortable with teammates to be successful at that position.

“We’ve got an offer on the table, I’ve talked a lot with those guys about fit, systems and the differences in the game – Johnny and I have watched CFL film together. It’s a really cool game.”

The next stop on the Manziel redemption tour is The Spring League, an unpaid showcase for players looking for a professional opportunity. He’ll report there on Wednesday (undoubtedly generating more news) and is set to play two games in April (which may break the internet.)

The Ticats are sending members of their front office to scout Manziel at The Spring League, while also keeping an eye out for other talent. Austin said last week that how he plays may be the deciding factor on his CFL future.

“It’s a very short stint for these exhibitions and they’ll be over very, very quickly,” Austin said. “You’ll probably see things move pretty quickly after that, in some direction. He’s doing well. He’s worked out, he’s been working out with NFL guys for some time now prior to going down to Texas. It’s all in line.”

There is certainly Manziel fatigue in many corners of the league. A prominent former Ticat expressed his exasperation at the attention a player who has never played a down on the big field is getting while established ones toil in virtual anonymity. But as tiring as it may be, Tuesday’s news cycle had a purpose: don’t sleep on Johnny coming to the CFL.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1570 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

34 Comments on Why Tuesday’s Manziel news is a little different than the usual fare

  1. Doug Mc Clintock // March 28, 2018 at 10:11 am //

    Its not over till it over, so bear and grin it fans,showboating is at its best
    when you make something out of nothing !

  2. Spring League Actually the players have to pay 400.00 in this last gasp attempt at a come back or to be recognized by the glossed over crowd

  3. Tiger man // March 28, 2018 at 10:18 am //

    Johnny says the CFL is “a really cool game”…

    Wow…I feel better now…..LOL

  4. cut to the chase Hamilton will sign him or trade his rights to Montreal agent says he has talked to the guys in Hamilton and they are a really good group just trying to put out the fires he created when this whole thing started.

  5. I don’t see that as anything new at all! Before it was negotiating in public, now its public relations. No new stories here.
    How could there be, after all this is 3Manziele-stories-per-day-Nation!

  6. Eddiefelson // March 28, 2018 at 10:55 am //

    Here is why Tuesdays news is the same:

    Blah blah blah,manziel maybe,,,blah blah blah blah.

    Yes 3 down nation….us dumbassed canuks understand…
    He will either play here or he wont…

    You ate NOT getting the fans fired up for him coming…..you are making fans NUMB to the idea…

    We dont care- if he signs- then we will care…if he doesnt, you spent an entire off season alienating fans

  7. As usual, Drew is all about context. Nice piece.

  8. More content theft by Drew Edwards. Uses quotes from other sources with no attribution to where he got them from whatsoever. Leaves us with the impression that Edwards directly recorded the interview and it’s his content when it is not.

  9. who is the prominent former ti-cat?

  10. More content theft by Drew Edwards. Uses quotes from other sources with no attribution to where he got them from whatsoever. Leaves us with the impression that Edwards directly recorded the interview and it’s his content when it is not.

    • Drew’s Dirty Beard // March 28, 2018 at 8:49 pm //

      Chris AB Huh, seems you’ve stolen content, word for word.
      That is “woke”.

  11. Paul Bomber // March 28, 2018 at 12:23 pm //

    If he doesn’t get an opportunity, he’s going to play in the CFL? Don’t do us any favours, ok Johnny?
    If you’re that desperate to put up headlines, you need to get some much, Much more ambitious/less lazy reporters.

  12. I’ve been critical of the Ticats handling of Manziel so it’s time to give credit where credit is due. They seem to have hung with this and rebuilt their relationship with Burkhardt and Manziel and walked things back from the cliff. There was no talk here about “getting what’s fair” for Manziel, ie. the $500k. They’re not talking salary anymore at all, they’re talking opportunity. My guess now is that if Manziel dosen’t sign with an NFL team he’ll sign with the Ticats.

    • Agree with your comments. In a general sense I think Hamilton and Manziel and agent were negotiating in good faith and were all In the loop re what Johnny was goi g to do and knew he would be back if he does not get offer from NFL team. There are no surprises for them. Austin really was trying g to give the fans a heads up all along knowing he may still be coming.

  13. Feeling Blue // March 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm //

    Of course he wants to be in the NFL….money, unfinished business for him, the game he grew up with

  14. I had to laugh watching yesterday’s Pardon The Interruption. Keith Olbermann was sitting in for Michael Wilbon and was talking about Johnny Manziel. Olbermann said that now that Manziel has cleaned himself up, Johnny is now extremely articulate, thoughtful and engaging. Olbermann said the new Manziel reminded him of The Simpsons episode when Homer Simpson became smart after having a crayon surgically removed from his brain through his nostril. Too funny!

  15. Guys and ladies. If you get a chance just posted on TSN cfl is a video called long road back for Johnny Manziel. Worth the listen. Also just posted is glen suitor on tatti and Louis B. You now will get the sportscasters I
    Opinions on Johnny Manziel. They have put it into high gear since Manziel without prompting said if no nfl he will go to cfl to play. Listen to suitor as is sai g what naylor and Dunnigan are saying. Worth the listen.

  16. Go to TSN cfl and see Dave naylor interview with Johnny Manziel. You get a real good sense of what he thinks if cfl. Also see naylor put out chat with Dunnigan who was impressed and will give you some info on TSN cfl.

    • FFS John, just let it go, man!. This punk would rather have needles through his eyes than play in the CFL. It’s been all downhill for Manziel since he won the Heisman in his rookie year. He’s got more baggage than Samsonite, and he’s not coming. Hamilton fans are pretty forgiving, but I don’t think they would forgive The Caretaker for bringing this guy to town.

  17. I think he still sees the CFL as inferior to the NFL rather than being a different game demanding different kinds of players and different skills from a QB. He is a good talker, but as he says himself, talking isn’t going to do it – especially on a CFL field playing CFL rules at CFL speed.

  18. Frank that is what Johnny Manziel said in interview to Dave Naylor. See it on TSN CFL site.

  19. OttawaHamiCatsFan // March 29, 2018 at 10:18 am //

    Shameful that 3downnation has now become ManzielNation. Not sure who is in love with Manziel more Dave Naylor or Drew Edwards.

  20. OldBaldGuy // March 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm //

    I’ll believe “cleaned up” after a good year of keeping a clean nose. Proclaiming something doesn’t make it true.

  21. If the guys in the spring league have to pay $400 to sign up for it then it is like going to a CFL free agent tryout in the states where the player pays $100 to give it the good go at it. A guy go to 4 of them to try to get signed he just spent $400.
    PS: I’ve heard of guys going to as many as 8 or 9 of them to hopefully get signed.

  22. Dundas dude // March 30, 2018 at 11:54 am //

    I feel like paraphrasing Scarlett Ohara: Manziel, Manziel, Manziel. This Manziel talk’s spoiling all the fun.

    Being a star in the NFL is no guarantee this guy can play quarterback in the CFL. If the Cats can sign him for the league minimum and with a couple years on the practice roster he might pan out if the three in front of him get injured.

  23. Paul Bomber // March 31, 2018 at 9:12 pm //

    Haven’t been on the Manzel website (aka “3DownNation”) for about 5-6 days… give them a chance to get that crap out of their system. See they are still obsessed like little fanboys over this guy who has NEVER played a down of football here.
    I’ll see ya in another week… perhaps by then, you’ll have moved on.

  24. He has to see it as a step to get back to the NFL.
    It’s like Tim Tebow in AAA baseball, it’s not the top league but it is competitive. Or like an NHL player going down to the AHL, you have to earn your way back from the minors to the majors.

  25. They’ve actually watched a game – wow – how respectful. Between Manziel and his Agent it is difficult to figure out who is dumber and the bigger imbecile. Both of you just go away.

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