Johnny Manziel might have a shot at continuing to play football, and he is apparently looking to join his fourth professional league. After short stints in the NFL, CLF and AAF, he is now interested in the XFL — the league is scheduled to start playing again in 2020 — and specifically Houston’s team but maybe Dallas’ too, according to the Houston Chronicle.
But the 26-year-old free-agent quarterback is particularly interested in Houston’s team for a couple reasons. First, it’s not far from Texas A&M, where he played in college and won the Heisman Trophy.
“It’s a stone’s throw from College Station,” Manziel told the Houston Chronicle. “A lot of Aggies drove from Houston to College Station. Houston’s a great city that’ll always be near and dear to me.”
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The other reason Manziel said he’s drawn to Houston’s XFL team is because it would give him an opportunity to play for head coach and general manager June Jones. More from the Houston Chronicle:
“I enjoyed every single day I had with coach Jones,” Manziel said Saturday at TriStar’s Show at Reliant Arena. “Being in his offense was the best part of each day. I know he’s going to be successful wherever he’s coaching.”
Two years after the Cleveland Browns released Manziel, he ended up playing for Jones, a former NFL and college coach, while on the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats roster. He signed with the Tiger-Cats in 2018 but was eventually traded to the Montreal Alouettes, and in February, he was kicked out of the CFL for violating terms of an agreement that made him eligible to play in the league.
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In Manziel’s eight games in the CFL, he had a 64.2 completion percentage with five touchdowns, 1,290 yards and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 215 yards.
He then moved over to the AAF with the Memphis Express and played in two games for them before the league folded in April.
But, as ESPN pointed out, Manziel might have some eligibility issues when it comes to the XFL, which is returning to action next year after existing for one season back in 2001. The league has policy that excludes players with criminal records. Previously, Manziel faced a domestic violence charge, which was eventually dismissed in November 2017.
The league commissioner Oliver Luck told ProFootballTalk in April:
“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 said regarding whether Manziel may find work in the XFL. “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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