We haven’t heard a whole lot from Johnny Manziel lately. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and notorious NFL flame-out has kept a low profile, last putting anything on Instagram in May and last tweeting in July. In August, he worked out for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who took a pass. But Manziel remains on the Ticats’ negotiation list, meaning Hamilton has exclusive CFL rights to negotiate a contract with him.
And if you listen to Ticats Coach June Jones, it sure sounds as if the team would like to do that.
“I think he’d be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones said, per CFL.ca. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody ever has been able to do.”
Jones, who also has coached at the NCAA and NFL levels of American football, took over as Hamilton’s coach midway through the recently completed CFL season after starting the season as an assistant. He thinks Manziel has the tools for CFL success.
“I would say he was not quite at top shape but I was very, very impressed with his arm strength, his accuracy, and that’s what I was concerned about as far as passing,” Jones said of Manziel’s earlier workouts. “I saw it in college, I saw it on the film, I saw it against Alabama, I saw it against everybody.
“Even his NFL films to be quite honest. The things that he would do up here, he excelled at at the National Football League level. I think he has a tremendous upside, and it really is in his lap to decide if that’s what he wants to do.”
The passing game receives much more emphasis in the CFL than the NFL, as teams have just three downs to go 10 yards.
“I think he’s a phenomenal player,” said Jones. “I think it was kind of unfortunate what happened to him in the NFL. Some of that was by his own means, too. We’ll see. I think he’ll either be with us or he won’t.”
Manziel’s NFL career lasted just two seasons and was marked by poor play and numerous off-field incidents. In April 2016, he was charged with misdemeanor assault over an incident involving his former girlfriend in Dallas. That charge was dismissed last month after Manziel attended an anger management course, domestic violence victim impact panel and court-approved rehab facility.
Read more from The Post: