Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is trying to make a comeback to the NFL, which may have taken a hit after the AAF suspended all operations today.
Many have speculated joining the Alliance of American Football was Johnny Manziel’s final shot at returning to the NFL, where he flamed out with the Cleveland Browns after just two seasons with the team. News that the AAF is suspending its operations today may have put a massive road block in the way of his return.
Lasting just eight weeks into its inaugural season is a pretty poor effort in creating a minor league system for the NFL. The AAF never had designs on competing with the NFL, but rather giving young players a chance to showcase their abilities, much like the G League does for some NBA players.
However, the NFLPA had not been cooperating with the AAF, not allowing players on practice squads or futures contracts to play in the league for fear of injury. This makes sense to be different from the G-League in this regard. Football is a violent sport and injuries happen nearly every game, sometimes catastrophic.
Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon committed $250 million a few weeks ago to keep the league afloat, becoming the league’s majority owner, but made the decision to suspend operations today after a myriad of issues which are detailed in this ESPN article.
Johnny Football saw his time with the CFL come to an end this year, but he quickly set sights on the AAF (whether or not he purposely violated his CFL contract is a debate for another time). He ended up signing with the Memphis Express with a chance to get some playing time right away, and he did, albeit sparingly.
This news is devastating for him for a couple of reasons. The Express had been eliminated from playoff contention last week, so it’s feasible to believe Manziel may have gotten more reps in the Express’ final couple games. It could also be the end of the road for his NFL comeback. He is permanently banned from the CFL and the XFL claims it will not take players with criminal records.
Manziel reacted to the news of the AAF folding on Twitter.
Interesting tweets considering Manziel has been in the league for less than a month. Although the league has not officially folded, it certainly appears to be heading in that direction. If this was the last we saw of Johnny Football playing professionally, it certainly isn’t how many Aggie fans pictured.