Johnny Manziel’s agent was correct.
In advance of his client’s first start for the Montreal Alouettes, Erik Burkhardt said it was “insane” to start Manziel after just four practices. The result: the 25-year-old quarterback threw a career-high four interceptions while getting hammered 50-11 by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“I stand by what I said. I hate to be the ‘I told you guy’ and I’m not going to stand up here and say that, but I’m Johnny’s agent, my job is to protect Johnny and always think about Johnny and his best interests,” Burkhardt said on the latest Barstool Sports Comeback SZN podcast.
“And sometimes in this business that makes it really tough because Johnny’s sole focus and interest is not on himself, it’s about the Montreal Alouettes and being the best teammate and leader he can be. And sometimes as a leader, you gotta just essentially just take one for the team as I think Johnny did – go out there and get kicked in the teeth a little bit and start from the bottom and work your way up.”
The Alouettes traded two proven starters, receiver Chris Williams and ratio-breaker defensive end Jamaal Westerman along with two first-round draft picks out of desperation to try and save the season. Head coach Mike Sherman didn’t feel the decision to start Manziel was rushed.
“As I told their front office the week before, I didn’t agree with it, I didn’t like it, in terms of looking after Johnny’s individual best interest,” Burkhardt said.
“But at the same time, I do get it in talking to my client. Johnny’s like ‘look E.B. I get it, I hear what you’re saying, I wish I had a couple weeks more to prepare, some more practices, some more reps, but this is my team now and they expect me to be a leader and I gotta go out there and do the best I can with what we have right now and continue to get better.'”