Johnny Manziel to play in the Spring League

Quarterback Johnny Manziel will participate in The Spring League in an attempt to jumpstart his football comeback.

The league, which had its inaugural season in 2017, bills itself as an “elite developmental league and scouting event for professional football talent” that aims to “provide additional opportunities for players who may have been overlooked by the NFL.”  It will play a four-game season in Austin, Texas – Manziel is from nearby Tyler and played his college football at Texas A&M – from March 28 to April 15 this year.

Players are not compensated and must pay $350 to participate. The games will be broadcast on the Turner Sports’ streaming service.

Manziel provided a statement to Bleacher Report:

“Football has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Sometimes you take for granted how much you value something until it’s gone. My goal is to make it back to the NFL and I realize I have to earn that privilege. The Spring League has provided me with a great opportunity to play ball again, and ultimately, that is all I want to do. I miss the competition. I’d like to thank Brian Woods and The Spring League staff for this opportunity to play the game I love. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I’m 25 years old and I know my best football is ahead of me.”

Manziel’s CFL rights are owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who have had him on their neg list since his college days. Vice-president of football operations Kent Austin said earlier this week that he was constant contact with Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt, who issued a statement in early January that included a Jan. 31 deadline to get a “fair deal” or they would move on to “other professional options readily available to us.”

Playing in The Spring League wouldn’t preclude Manziel from playing in the CFL this season. The team’s three-day off-season workout session isn’t expected to take place until late April and rookie camps don’t open across the league until May 16.

The Ticats issued a brief statement.

But the team’s play-by-play man sent a tweet to Manziel that featured the “peace out” emoji and Manziel responded…