Johnny Manziel in the XFL? Commissioner doesn’t rule it out

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has bounced around several professional football leagues, with seemingly one more remaining.

When Johnny Manziel declared for the 2014 NFL Draft, it was met with so much controversy. Not that he was leaving Texas A&M early — the 2012 Heisman Winner didn’t have much left to prove at the college level. Rather, NFL Draft analysts argued amongst each other whether Johnny Football could be a successful quarterback in the NFL.

As of right now, and likely for the rest of time, those who doubted Johnny will be on the right side of history. He lasted just two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, who traded up to get him with the No. 22 overall pick. However, most of Manziel’s problems were off the field. This is mostly why a team has not picked him up since the Browns released him in 2016. He showed some promise on the field, actually.

NFL teams decided at the time Johnny Football wasn’t work the headache. Will John Manziel make it to the NFL?

The new name he prefers, which he revealed to Dan Patrick this week, could be a way of letting the NFL know he has put all that behind him. Although he still has that brash, cocky attitude on the field that made him such a great college player, he needs to prove he won’t be a problem if an NFL team does take a chance on him.

He has mostly stayed out of the news. Being released by the Montreal Alouettes and banned by the CFL certainly raised eyebrows, but that didn’t turn off another professional league.

The XFL is set to re-boot in the spring of 2020. After participating in The Spring League, the CFL and the now-defunct AAF, the XFL could be Manziel’s final chance to show NFL teams he can still play at a high level. Commissioner Oliver Luck didn’t rule out a team in his new league taking a chance on Manziel.

"“If he is able to meet our standards and if our coaches think he’s one of the top quarterbacks out there that can help us,” Luck told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “Certainly we have no reason not to believe he couldn’t be in the mix. But again it’s really up to our coaches in terms of the quarterbacks they wanna take a look at.”"

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Having a polarizing player such as Manziel will only help the XFL draw interest in its league. They will never force him on a team, or maybe they will, don’t count anything out when it comes to Vince McMahon, but they probably won’t have to. Even in limited snaps he drew a crowd and better ratings for the Memphis Express.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.