While his Hamilton Tiger-Cats teammates finalized their living arrangements or recovered from a long and arduous training camp, quarterback Johnny Manziel used Monday’s off day to fly to New York City to record the first episode of his Comeback SZN podcast and appear on the Barstool Rundown webcast.
Manziel and his agent Erik Burkhardt shared the backstory of how the contract with the Ticats came together quickly on the podcast.
“Here’s the way the contract situation works with [Burkhardt]: ‘Alright, I think we got the deal done. You’re leaving at 10 p.m. tomorrow night.’ ‘Eric that’s in 12 hours, you’re telling me I’m moving to Hamilton, Ontario for the next six months of my life,'” Manziel said. “‘Pack your shit and be on a plane tomorrow.’ ‘Whatever you say, buddy.’ That’s pretty much how it went. There wasn’t a lot of fluid talks that were going on behind the scenes.”
Burkhardt offered his perspective on the contract negotiations.
“They stepped up. We didn’t think they’d step up to where I told them they needed to get to,” Burkhardt said.
After agreeing to join the Ticats in late May, Manziel took a redeye flight to Buffalo and spent time at the border getting a work permit – but that wasn’t the only delay.
“They held me up for having too much cash at the border,” Manziel said “It’s super casual to have $25,000 in your backpack.”
The Heisman Trophy winner did make it into Canada but Burkhardt divulged the Ticats wanted Manziel on the team sooner.
“Last year they really wanted to sign and made a push halfway through the season,” Burkhardt said.
“My big thing was ‘Johnny, if we’re going to do this I want you up there day one.’ That’s exactly what Johnny told me. We knew it was going to take some time, we knew he wasn’t going to be starting right away.”
Manziel has played two pre-season games and already been fined $50, likely for criticizing officials.
“Something like that. It’s a little bit different than the NFL. It’s not like the $5,000 that you would get,” Manziel said.
The 25-year-old does seem happy to be back playing football as opposed to what he had been doing.
“Sitting on your ass on the couch reading Barstool every day and playing Fortnight and watching Netflix as August, September roll around,” Manziel said, “It gets pretty boring.”