Most NFL teams have thrown in the towel on Manziel: scout

Johnny Manziel views the CFL as a route to an NFL return but a number of personnel men have their doubts about his ability to get back to the four-down league.

Ricky Ray, Jeff Garcia and Doug Flutie, who many have compared Manziel to because of similar size and styles on the field, are the most recent quarterbacks to make the jump from the CFL to the NFL. All using multiple prolific seasons to even be brought in by NFL teams. Exactly the chance Manziel craves.

As the Heisman Trophy winner and former first-round NFL pick begins his eagerly anticipated CFL career as a starting quarterback, what do talent evaluators south of the border want to see from Manziel?

“Obviously, Manziel has to take care of his off-field stuff. On the field, he needs to be accurate, show arm strength, playmaking ability, finish drives and score points,” one NFL scout said.

Added another: “Need to see that he’s a leader on and off the field, handle the locker room, be a pro’s pro and take charge. Get the team to rally around him and turn them around.”

The Alouettes have the worst record in the league at 1-5 and rank last in points scored (92), net offence (1,523 yards) and sacks allowed (23). Manziel’s knack for scrambling and making plays on the run could infuse energy into what’s been a mostly lacklustre offence. If the 25-year-old signal caller can lead the Als to newfound and consistent offensive success it would go a long way in the minds of NFL franchises.

But the off-field issues that led to Manziel’s banishment from the NFL are still a concern. Manziel partied hard and admitted he didn’t put in the required work to succeed after the Cleveland Browns drafted him 22nd overall in 2014 to be the future of the franchise. The way Manziel left the NFL has not been forgotten.

“I don’t want to see anything from him,” an NFL executive said. “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.”

Manziel had pedestrian numbers in eight NFL starts going 2-6 while passing for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and recording a 74.4 passer rating. He sat out the last game of the 2015 regular season in Cleveland, but Manziel was actually in Las Vegas. The Browns released Manziel in March 2016 and more than two years after he’s a professional starting quarterback again.

“Some teams may keep it alive but pretty sure most have thrown in the towel on him,” another NFL personnel man said.

Manziel must be more consistent and last longer the last Heisman Trophy winner to start at quarterback for Montreal, Troy Smith in 2013. A little over two months after signing with the Alouettes, Smith started and beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-5. He went 2-1 to finish that season but after going 1-5 the following year, Smith was released. That was the end of Smith’s football career.

The hype and attention around Manziel is going to become bigger as he steps into the starting spotlight. How Johnny Football deals with the increased focus and performs under the bright lights again will show NFL people whether he even deserves another NFL opportunity.

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.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (938 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

67 Comments on Most NFL teams have thrown in the towel on Manziel: scout

  1. Not too surprised to hear this. Hopefully he loves football and just wants to enjoy the sport and the competition it brings

  2. “On the field, he needs to be accurate, show arm strength, playmaking ability, finish drives and score points,” one NFL scout said.”

    That’s exactly what I’ve explained numerous times on here, my friends.

    When I tell you a guy is trash you can be pretty certain that he’s useless. And when I tell you a guy has talent you can be pretty certain that he’s a playmaker at the pro level.

    • Except you constantly rag on Nichols who, while maybe doesn’t have the best deep ball accuracy, has playmaking ability, finishes drives and scores points and has done so for 2 and a half seasons in the blue and gold. Yes, the offense has enough weapons that slinging it down field like Reily tends to do isn’t a big part of the playbook for the BB, but they win games and put up points. Their struggles in the playoffs haven’t been due to the offense, it’s been defensive struggles and giving up too many yards, something they’ve started to correct in a big way. I hope for my sake and all bomber fans that Nichols gets over the playoff hump and brings us back a cup, if for no other reason than to prove all of his doubters wrong.

      • And I’ve been constantly correct on my assessment of Matt Nichols – – that you’ll never, ever, win a championship with him as your starting QB.

        The pop-gun offence – – screen pass to Andrew Harris, hand off to Andrew Harris, swing pass to Andrew Harris, draw to Andrew Harris – – is adequate during the regular season but not when the games matter in November.

        One-and-done in the 2016 playoffs. One-and-done in the 2017 playoffs.

        Looks like Area51 was 100% on point again.

        • Pino Nuwar // August 3, 2018 at 3:33 pm //

          You make a good point, actually Nostre. I take back the “dearth of talent” comment, because I agree, you have a good few players that could make a pretty formidable team, if they could all just gel. Hopefully with Johnny throwing the ball, there might be some hope coming back to the team.

          I am worried about the future for MTL though. Kavis Reed just mortgaged your future for a guy who, if he’s successful, will leave after a couple of years (best case scenario for MTL, he is “Kevin Glenn” successful). You have a number of players who will be aging out very soon (Chip Cox, John Bowman). You also have a really bad place kicker (a position that is becoming a very good National position for many teams now – again, too bad about your draft picks).

          I do really hope you guys can get it together, because I always liked Montreal, and, frankly, I’m sick of the East sucking so much and lulling my Stampeders into a false sense of security every freakin’ Grey Cup.

          • Pino Nuwar // August 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm //

            Uh, this comment was meant for Nostre further down. Not sure how it wound up here.

        • and yet the bombers are the highest scoring team in the cfl by miles cuz no one can figure nichols out 🙂

    • Hahaha Area51; the scout that never made it of his couch. Listen up my friends, when I tell you that some of the posters on here haven’t a clue what they’re spewing, you can be pretty certain they’re useless. A51 is one of those people. I’m just calling it as I see it.

      • Paul Bomber // August 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm //

        Not sure why anyone reads that fool’s comments. It’s the same thing every time. I’m assuming Nichols must have beat him up for his lunch money every day. Either that, or he’s a spurned lover. Or just a troll.

    • and you can tell this guy has no talent, judging from what the hamilton game is showing always bet against air 51 guys

    • Ridersrule // August 3, 2018 at 11:44 pm //

      Lol oh my here we go again . You clearly stated in a similar statement that franklin was great . You are so full of yourself . All you do is jump on and off bandwagons

    • and when we tell you that your egotistical bird that know one listens too we mean it and you have no friends here

  3. Arcade Fire // August 3, 2018 at 11:31 am //

    If the Ticats traded him because they think he is a short timer in the CFL than this is a dose of reality. Who knows what will happen but ruling out a long AC type career is a mistake. He could just settle in for a long career in a great world class city and make tons of money on the side with marketing deals and perhaps expansion franchise ownership in Quebec City.

    • Hamilton dumped Manziel onto Montreal because he’s a terrible QB.

      It’s just like when BC dumped Vern Adams onto Montreal because he’s a terrible QB too.

      • Arcade Fire // August 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm //

        Right on Area 51. When Hamilton dumps a guy you know they suck. That is why we can be sure Anthony Cavillo and Zach Collaros both are terrible.

        • Nope…only Collaros…over rated, over paid, injury prone…and may I, for the zenith time, state that Collaros has won NOTHING…unlike Hall of Famer, Cavillo.

        • Tiger man // August 7, 2018 at 9:25 am //

          What saved Calvillo’s career when he left Hamilton was tutoring from Tracy Ham…

          Hamilton released Calvillo because Danny McManus was coming here….who won got us to the Grey cup two years in a row…winning the second time…

      • It’s amazing. Adams is 3-1, and played very well considering the circumstances behind that one loss, and the opponent involved. And yet, you are CERTAIN Adams is “a terrible QB”.

        And none of us have seen Manziel take ONE snap of regular season CFL football, and you declare with certainty that he too is a “terrible QB”.

        Well, I have far more evidence on you as an obnoxious poster of inflammatory bull, and I can say for certain what YOU are…

    • Again, Doug Flutie HIMSELF took 8 seasons in the CFL before he got a shot at the NFL. He led the league in passing 6 times, won 3 Grey Cups and was MVP of the playoffs 3 times.

      Perhaps the best quarterback in the history of the league, surpassing 6,000 yds in the air twice, another CFL record.

      And yet, he was 6-11-1 in his first season in BC. Everybody needs to calm down until Manziel can learn the CFL game and the Alouettes (somehow) find talent with which to surround him.

      It’s doubtful Manziel will show enough in the one and 2/3 seasons remaining on his contract, for doubters in the NFL to change their mind. And if he abandons the Alouettes and goes to a new league, that’ll only be another black mark against him: he can’t be trusted to finish what he started.

      Hopefully Manziel will do well tonight, and he and the Alouettes can move forward from that. Hopefully he doesn’t get DESTROYED because of his and/or the Alouettes’ lack of preparation.

  4. Minor correction. Burris and Casey Printers went to the NFL after Flutie and Garcia. IMO they both went down too soon, however, and they weren’t consistent enough and ultimately didn’t stick.

  5. Johnny doesn’t need all 32 teams to take interest in him… he only needs one. And there are always plenty of QB-starved teams who are looking for a solution. If Manziel plays reasonably well over the course of this season, personnel men might be singing a different tune. At this point, he’s just gotta show it on the field.

  6. Evil Empire // August 3, 2018 at 11:45 am //

    That’s just stupid.

    If he lights up the CFL, nobody will sign him ?

    Stop, ffs.

    That’s really responsible journalism there, Spunk. Not, a single name in the article. Wait, was this one of those “ my neighbours’ sister’s boyfriend told me this is legit. And he sells hotdogs at the freaking stadium “

    “ So, you need to book that shite “.

    Brutal !

  7. Pino Nuwar // August 3, 2018 at 11:46 am //

    I mean, that’s ultimately why Manziel is here – NFL teams threw in the towel on him years ago. Manziel is here to try to prove to those teams that he’s worth another look. So far he hasn’t been able to do that because he hasn’t been able to take the field. Now he’ll be able to do so, but as QB of the worst team in the league. If he is able to make some plays with the absolute dearth of talent (both in players and in coaching staff) that he has around him, then he might just earn that second look.

    For now, though, any news about the NFL throwing the towel in on him is as old as the Titanic.

    • @ Pino Nuwar

      “Dearth of talent?”
      If the Alouettes win tonight, they’ll be in a 3-way tie for 2nd place. The Alouettes have plenty of talent. They have just been playing like a team without a SHRED of hope.

      After several games where our quarterback wasn’t able to put up more than 10 points, you can see where that lack of hope might originate.

      We were actually IN that game against Edmonton, were it not for 3 missed field goals, dropped TD passes and back clock management.

      All of which stinks of a team without ANY hope, and where whatever bad CAN happen DOES happen.

      I’ve seen glimmers of a great defensive squad, snuffed out by a total lack of support from the offence. And this has been a pattern for several seasons now.

      So you know what you can do with your “dearth of talent”…dearthbag.

      • Tiger man // August 8, 2018 at 8:16 am //

        “The Alouettes have plenty of talent. They have just been playing like a team without a SHRED of hope.”

        Their defense has given up more yards than any other team. Their offense can’t score points….WHERE IS THE TALENT???

        Above that, they have a GM who has absolutely no idea as to what he’s doing…look at the deals he’s made…

        The players have no hope because they are an awful football team with no leadership….

  8. “The hype and attention around Manziel is going to become bigger as he steps into the starting spotlight”. I hate to criticize the website that I love but…do you think that 3DownNation has anything to do with the Manziel hype???

  9. The Stills // August 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm //

    Area 51 there is a scout opening at the new Halifax team. Can you come out and interview Tomorrow at Univ. MOncton?

    • Does the dinkified little village of Moncton have an airport?

      I had the displeasure of flying into St Johns once. Looked out the window approaching the “airport” and thought we were crash landing in a forest.

      But what else to expect from a place where a five-storey building is considered a “skyscraper”.

      • Dude. As well as being uneducated trailer trash you must have the world’s smallest penis.

        • Its an Ontario thing, If its not visible from “Tarahno”, smell like piss, and doesn’t have a Starbucks, its trash. But on top of all that, A51 does indeed seem to be compensating for something.

          • Whoa…steady on that “Ontario” thing! People from that “village” in Hamilton are offended…we are not in any shape or form like those dudes 68.8 km down the QEW.

  10. ray was on a practice roster only.. as for johnny, if he lights it up there will be nfl interest. i wish him well

  11. The high lights from tonight’s game will be shown all over north and south of the border anything Johnny dose big will be shown over and over again till sickness sets in.

  12. I wonder if Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell will try the NFL in 2019? Is it better to be a star in the CFL for half of million, or be a backup in the NFL for a couple of million?

    • Mike stays in cfl, maybe not in edmonton though in 8 – 10 years he’ll take over from dunnigan

    • FFS, what an asinine comment about Mike Reilly going to the NFL next year.

      Great as he is, Reilly will be THIRTY-FOUR (34) years old next year. You’ve got as much of a chance to “try the NFL in 2019” as Mike Reilly does.

      Please stop embarrassing yourself with such nonsensical gibberish.

      • Pino Nuwar // August 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm //

        Geezuz Kryst, A51. Can you, at least once, post on here without it sounding like you just discovered a dog turd in your bowl of Lucky Charms?

      • Dieter Brock went to the NFL at age 34 and did OK. If Manziel can turn around Montreal he should be displacing any NFL quarterback as that would be a major accomplishment!

  13. I think Ham will be offered up by the CFL to to build Mansels reputation and sell tickets across the league. Ham has helped set this up and deserves the consequences of this arrangement.

  14. He only needs one team to want to take a chance on him.

    • Then he would best check his chances of going to the west coast…Wally loves those reclamation projects…actually with Lulay as a mentor it may not be a bad idea!

    • Tiger man // August 7, 2018 at 9:35 am //

      “He only needs one team to want to take a chance on him.”

      Right, senior, and the Als will start their yearly search for a starting quarterback…my gosh…look how well it’s gone so far…

  15. Arcade Fire // August 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm //

    Everybody watch youtube Browns Tennessee 2015. John started the second game of 2015 because the starter got a concussion against Jets the first game. On the very first play he made a play action pass and threw a bomb for a TD to a then unknown receiver from the Alabama. Tonight he will do the same thing to an unknown receiver from NC state.

  16. One thing Reed did that was smart… getting Vernon Adams in there. That guy can ball… he’s not a prototypical QB that the NFL scouts and Area51 seek, but with a weak offensive line and mediocre receiving corps, he’ll get first downs and yes, he can finish a drive. So I actually think – VA will end up leading the team at some point.

    • Arcade Fire // August 3, 2018 at 1:11 pm //

      vernon and john are clones. John has better arm and Vernon better runner but clones.

    • Vern Adams is an atrocious QB, my friend.

      Laughably weak arm, pisspoor accuracy, too dumb to read coverage and ZERO pocket presence.

      The only team Vern Adams is going to lead will be a YMCA rec league team.

      • Ridersrule // August 3, 2018 at 11:51 pm //

        You are spot on with your comments if you are talking about your attitude, football knowledge and tact. Be honest you don’t have a friend in the world and your own family can’t stand you .

  17. David Tress // August 3, 2018 at 1:01 pm //

    Manziel still has a better record for Cleveland then any ab that has taken over since then.

  18. This is a gong show waiting to happen …..stay tuned

  19. AL Romaker // August 3, 2018 at 1:15 pm //

    JM’s strength is making something from nothing, like scrambling, rolling out, tucking the ball in and running, etc., all things the the NFL coaches DON’T want their QB to do.
    If he goes to the NFL in 2020, he will either sit on the bench as a 3rd or 4th stringer or play and get hurt often. Not what you want your star starting QB to do.
    Therefore play and be hurt often, and/or sit on the bench for 2, maybe 3 years total, in the NFL or play everyday in the CFL for 8 to 10 years.
    Small fish in a very big pond or a big fish in a very small pond.
    Remember, there are 10,000 university football players graduating every year that are available to be drafted.
    Soon, JM’s time will have come and gone in the NFL.
    It could already be up, never mind 2 years from now.

  20. Ari Katz // August 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm //

    I think the TV Ratings for tonights game will set a different tone then this article sets. If Manziel plays well for the rest of this season, the NFL interest will be there as it should and this interest is only going to grow. Tonight’s game will establish a CFL regular season ratings record and you can bet that every NFL team will have one of their scouts tuning in. We should all be thankful to Johnny Manziel for providing this expsosure to our great league and country.

  21. Bombsquad // August 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm //

    Whether an NFL team will be interested in Manziel in 2 yrs is irrelevant right now. First and foremost Johnny has to prove he has his life in order and can master the CFL game to start, let alone what NFL team will take a chance on him. He can’t go anywhere for 2 yrs anyway unless Montreal releases him which means he couldn’t hack it in the Canadian pro league, so heading down south to play is a non starter. I could see the new league thats starting up take a chance on him to generate some publicity but even then Manziel has to show he can still play at a high level, and that journey starts tonight.

    • Paul Bomber // August 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm //

      you got it! if Manziel is looking past the CFL already (and not suggesting he is) then he’s dead in the water. If he’s not trying to be the best CFL QB he can be, it’s not going to take long before D’s are eating his lunch.

  22. Paul Bomber // August 3, 2018 at 4:27 pm //

    “…Ricky Ray, Jeff Garcia and Doug Flutie, who many have compared Manziel to because of similar size and styles on the field…”
    Ray is a 6’3″ pure pocket passer. Flutie could do it all, scrambled all the time and was 5’10”. So… if that’s your baseline, you might as well throw in Dave Dickenson, Warren Moon, my Aunt Betty and the neighbor’s cat.

  23. Very few NFL GMs, if any, would risk bringing in a QB with his past. Violence against a female, addiction and comittment issues and straight out deceitful behaviour. Maybe a top talelent at the RB or WR or CB or DE position, but not a QB. I could be wrong as I didn’t actually think he would play a down in the CFL but I am very sure he won’t be back in the NFL.

    • Paul Bomber // August 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm //

      huh… interesting to single out the QB position like that. Makes sense. BUT, crazier things have happened.

  24. And ya, Ricky andJohnny have very little similarities beyond they are both QBs. Flutie would be the obvious comparison but their character and dispositions are polar opposite.

  25. Ron Tuthill // August 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm //

    Jeff Garcia and Doug Flutie yes but I would never compare Manziel to Ricky Ray. The other two guy’s are scramblers when they get into trouble while Ray is your typical drop back passer who happens to be very accurate. Ray only runs when he has no choice. Also the other two QB’s are shorter and Ray is 6’2″-6’3″. If you wanted another QB to compare Manziel to then why not Damon Allen who has some of the same traits as he has thrown the football for over 60,000 yards and rushed the football for over 10,000 yards.

  26. Damen Allen was a lanky, glider when he ran. Johnny can legit scramble and gain extra time but from what I remember, maybe or similar to Tracy Ham or Duunigan in that department- although Matt took some huge hits where Johnny hasn’t. I see the Flutie comparison but it is a stretch at this point, from Johnny’s body of work at the pro level. I know Flutie didn’t tear up the NFL in his first stint but he didn’t stink it up both on and off field. QB is a position like no other in football or probably any other sport. Brains and character matter- Manning, Brady, Brees, Calvillo, etc.

  27. Way to early to throw in the towel on Johnny. By the end of the 2019 season will tell the story. Hopefully he and the Als will be successful by then, he and the wife will enjoy the charms of Montreal and he stays in the CFL like AC did many years ago and prospered by doing so as a person and as a pro. Time will tell.

  28. I haven’t thrown the towel in on him. Young man is very talented. In my opinion, his character will be the determining factor. But if I was a betting man…I would bet on his longevity as a pro QB. Just my opinion. I have missed the mark on some players before and if he, in fact, has changed his habits and behavior, then I can only wish him all the best as both an athlete, but moreover, as a young man seeking redemption in his personal life.

  29. I haven’t thrown the towel in on him. Manziel is very talented. In my opinion, his character will be the determining factor. But if I was a betting man…I would not bet on his longevity as a CFLer. Just my opinion. I have missed the mark on some players before and if he, in fact, has changed his habits and behavior, then I can only wish him all the best as both an athlete, but moreover, as a young man seeking redemption in his personal life.

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