Johnny Manziel will not play in the CFL this season.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambriosie has decided not to register Manziel’s contract with the league after meeting with the controversial quarterback and subjecting him to “an extensive process” that included an assessment by an expert in domestic violence prevention.
The quarterback will be allowed to play next season if he meets certain conditions outlined by Ambrosie.
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have until Nov. 30, 2017 to offer him a contract and he will remain on their negotiation list until that time.
Here’s the full statement from the CFL:
After an extensive process of due diligence and an in-person meeting with Mr. Manziel, the Commissioner has decided that he will not register any contract for Mr. Manziel for this season. However, Mr. Manziel will be eligible to sign a contract for the 2018 season and, if Mr. Manziel meets certain conditions that have been spelled out by the Commissioner, the CFL will register that contract. The specifics of those conditions are confidential and will not be disclosed. The CFL has extended the stay on the expiry of the 10-day window for Mr. Manziel until November 30, 2017 and therefore Mr. Manziel will remain on Hamilton’s negotiation list until that date.
The league required Manziel be assessed by an expert in domestic violence prevention as well as meet with Ambrosie before signing a contract with any club after Manziel activated the 10-day window that required Hamilton offer him a contract earlier this month. The league subsequently extended the timeline so it could complete its review.
Under CFL rules, any player on a team’s exclusive 45-man negotiation list can demand to be offered a contract within 10 days. If a contract offer is not received within that period, the player is removed from the neg list. If a contract offer is received but rejected, the player is removed from the list one year from the offer date.
Manziel was charged in January 2016 after being accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley. He reached a dismissal agreement that required him to complete an anger management class, attend a domestic violence impact panel and participate in a substance-abuse program.
The 24-year-old has been on the Ticats neg list since his days at Texas A&M, where he became the first freshman to capture the Heisman Trophy. The Cleveland Browns selected him in the first round, No. 22 overall, in the 2014 NFL draft and he spent two seasons with the club, posting a 2-6 record as a starter before being released March 11, 2016.
Manziel gave a statement to NFL reporter Adam Schefter about his meeting with Ambrosie.
“I recently had a really positive meeting with Commissioner Ambrosie and welcomed the chance for us to get to know each other and have an in-depth talk about a possible future with the CFL. I love this game and want to be back on the field in a situation where I can help a franchise in the long term. Over the past months, my agent helped me vet all of my options for playing, figuring out where I could be most effective and get back to having the most fun with the game I love,” Manziel told Schefter. “I’m ready to play today, but we all agreed with the Commissioner that it made no sense for me to join a team with only a month left in the season – it wouldn’t have been fair to my teammates, coaches or the fan base. I want to come into a team and earn my job day one, like everyone else. I look forward to preparing myself as best I can and look forward to what the future holds.”