Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: team suffers long-term injury to their starting quarterback, so people start talking about how a star-calibre backup could be dealt to help them out.
The amount of times we have read this same story is too numerous to count, but the latest scenario might be the silliest yet.
After both the Argos and Riders suffered injuries to their starting quarterbacks — Ricky Ray and Zach Collaros, respectively — TSN decided to post a video discussing whether the either team should inquire about the availability of Ticats’ backup QB Johnny Manziel & the CFL did an article on the subject.
Where to even begin.
Let’s start with the obvious: the Ticats aren’t trading Johnny Manziel. Not to the Argos, not to the Riders, not to anyone. Hamilton brass — Kent Austin, June Jones, Eric Tillman, Scott Mitchell — spent almost a year trying to get Manziel to sign with the Ticats, so the idea of them dealing him the second another team needs a QB makes no sense whatsoever.
Secondly, the recent injuries to Ray and Collaros as well as the injury earlier in the year to Winnipeg’s Matt Nichols shows that a team needs two quarterbacks. One-third of the league’s starters have been lost to injury two weeks into the season and Hamilton already released a player in Vernon Adams who would have been a viable backup candidate (and was the team’s backup prior to Manziel’s signing). If the Ticats were even considering dealing Manziel they never would have let Adams go. You need two good QBs; the Ticats have that now, they wouldn’t if they traded Manziel.
Thirdly, why would the Ticats want to help either the Argos or the Riders out? One is a division rival, the other is a potential crossover threat. I get that in a league this small you have to be open to trading with anyone, but dealing a guy you think can be a star to a team you might see come playoff time is something most teams would rather avoid.
Fourthly, the Argos and Riders made moves over the off-season for cases such as this. While both their now-starters — James Franklin in Toronto, Brandon Bridge in Saskatchewan — were brought in or retained prior to them getting their now-injured starters, both teams knew that having a quality backup behind their starters was important. Especially because both Ray and Collaros have dealt with their fair share on injuries in recent years. So even if Manziel was available, and I cannot stress how much I believe he is not, the Argos and Riders prepared for their current situations and don’t need to parachute in a guy who will need a few weeks to get acclimated if he was acquired.
So if this trade makes no sense from a football standpoint, why the speculation?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
Johnny Manziel’s name attracts attention and TSN pushed this highly unlikely scenario out there so that people would watch the video. Johnny Manziel’s name means clicks and views, and we here at 3DownNation know that better than almost anyone else. We became “all Johnny, all the time” over the winter because people just devoured any and all information we posted about him, and I would bet that more people watched the video about Manziel being a trade target than any other CFL video TSN posted this week.
But while TSN might have done good business because of their Manziel-centric rumour video doesn’t make it any more likely that the Ticats will trade him.
Because they won’t.
Johnny Manziel isn’t getting traded and no amount of speculating by TSN is going to change that.