Quarterback Johnny Manziel described his meeting with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie as “positive” and says he’s “ready to play today.”
Manziel gave a statement to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter that was posted on Facebook shortly after the league announced that it would not register a contract for Manziel this season and would allow him to play next season only if he meets certain conditions.
But according to Manziel, the decision was more to do with football than concerns over his behaviour or history of domestic violence. Manziel is known for his partying lifestyle and was charged in January 2016 after being accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
“… 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,” the statement reads.
That seems to construct a slightly different narrative than the one put forth by the league, which said that Manziel would be allowed to play in 2018 only if he “meets certain conditions that have been spelled out by the Commissioner.”
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who have had Manziel on their exclusive negotiation list since his time at Texas A&M, have until Nov. 30, 2017 to offer him a contract and he will remain on their neg list until that time.
Here’s Manziel’s full statement via Schefter:
“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.”