Johnny Manziel is back.
The beleaguered quarterback has signed with the Alliance of American Football and will play for the Memphis Express less than a month after being dismissed from the Canadian Football League. The Associated Press first reported the news, and the Express later confirmed it.
Manziel spent less than a calendar year playing in Canada, first for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, then for the Montreal Alouettes. On Feb. 27, the league said the former NFL first-round draft choice and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner “contravened the agreement which made him eligible to play” and forced Montreal to cut him from its roster. It said it would not honor a contract signed with any other CFL team but did not disclose Manziel’s specific contractual violations.
The AAF’s San Antonio Commanders held Manziel’s rights but declined to add him. He entered the spring league’s waiver system and was available to the seven other teams.
Memphis could certainly use another quarterback. With a league-worst 1-5 record, the Express has not had much success in the passing game behind former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who left Saturday’s game against the Salt Lake Stallions with an injured ankle. He was replaced by former Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers.
And though Manziel, 26, could give the team a lift, his tenure in Montreal was brief and underwhelming. In his first game for Montreal, he threw four interceptions on 11-for-20 passing for 104 yards. In eight games he completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,290 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.
It’s unclear when Manziel will make his AAF debut. Memphis next hosts Birmingham on March 24 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on NFL Network.
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