The Alliance of American Football has hit the pause button on Johnny Manziel.
One day after AAF chairman Tom Dundon said the league would give Manziel the chance to work out for all eight teams, co-founder Charlie Ebersol has put that on hold.
“We’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Canada,” Ebersol told the Associated Press.
The Montreal Alouettes were directed by the CFL to release Manziel after it was found that he contravened the agreement which made him eligible to play in the league. The CFL informed all of its member clubs that it will not register a contract for Manziel should any franchise attempt to sign him, essentially kicking him out of the league.
Manziel was banned from the CFL after missing required meetings with people tasked to help him stay on the straight and narrow – a violation of the agreement set out by the league. But there could be even more to the story.
“We want to be a league of opportunity to the best available players, assuming they are available contractually, with a clean bill of health and a clean criminal record,” Ebersol said.
“We want them if they can play at our level. We have to have guys who play at a level that every single guy has a shot to get back to the NFL. We look at everybody. If he is clean and clear, we will certainly talk to him about coming out for a workout.”
The San Antonio Commanders own Manziel’s rights under the league’s allocation system because the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner played for Texas A&M University. That means San Antonio would get the first chance to sign Manziel.
Montreal made a blockbuster deal for Manziel to become the starting quarterback for the Als. He passed for 1,290 yards, five touchdowns versus seven interceptions and rushed 29 times for 215 yards ending the season 2-6 as Montreal’s starter. Manziel had not thrown a pass in a pro game since December 2015 and coming to Canada was his comeback to football.