Johnny Manziel has been in the news a lot since winning the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M, but it has usually been for negative things. Manziel has now signed with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and this could be a huge move for both parties if all goes well. However, if it doesn’t, it could be curtains for Manziel’s career.
Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and played there for just two seasons. His NFL numbers aren’t impressive in the least as he has 1,675 yards for his career with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, a passer rating of 74.4 and just one rushing touchdown. However, most of Manziel’s problems have come off the field as he has had legal problems and issues with drugs and alcohol. That has led many NFL teams to pass on the undersized quarterback, who has had workouts with a lot of NFL teams, but none of them took a chance.
In December, the CFL approved Manziel to play in the league if he wanted to and the Tiger-Cats owned his rights, so they made him an offer. The two sides have had their issues at the negotiating table, but they came to a deal for two years on May 19th. The Tiger-Cats needed to make something happen as they started last season with eight straight losses, although they rallied to finish 6-12 on the season. The main problem was offense and that side of the ball got a spark when Jeremiah Masoli took the place of Zach Collaros under center. Collaros has since been moved to Saskatchewan, which means Manziel will have to battle with Masoli for the starting spot (Dane Evans and Vernon Evans are also named on the roster).
Masoli will probably have the edge as he already knows the Hamilton offense, but the Tiger-Cats have to be intrigued by Manziel. They’re coached by June Jones, who is in his first full season as head coach of the Tiger-Cats and led the team to a 6-4 record after he took over for Kent Austin last season. Jones is known for being a wide-open offensive coach and this could pay dividends for Manziel, who was known in college for using his legs. In a league like the CFL, which has a bigger field, Manziel has a lot of room to make an impression with his running. However, this is also what Masoli is good at, so it is going to be interesting to see how this battle plays out.
Impact On The Grey Cup Odds
The oddsmakers at BetDSI have put the Tiger-Cats at +550 to win the Grey Cup, which is second to Calgary at +550. This means they have a lot of faith in Manziel to not only make the team, but excel. But is he even better than Masoli? A lot of players have come from the NFL to the CFL, thinking they’ll flourish. Given Manziel’s history, there is nothing to say that he will. He has the talent to be very good in his league, but Manziel has to prove he has matured. If he hasn’t, he’ll continue to waste his talent.
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