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Johnny Manziel may be close to a return to football, this time in the CFL.
According to reports, earlier this week, Manziel and his agent notified the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL to activate a 10-day window that would force the team to make a decision on his future.
The Tiger-Cats own the CFL rights to Manziel.
The 10-day window gives teams a chance to evaluate the player then either sign him, trade him, or cut him.
On Friday, the CFL extended the window, according to TSN’s David William Naylor, as Manziel is subject to a domestic violence assessment stemming from a domestic violence allegation from his former girlfriend in 2010. He’s also subject to an interview with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
However, the move by Manziel and his agent may signal that a return to football is closer than expected. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio suspected that Manziel may believe if the Tiger-Cats cut him, then another team will be interested in signing him.
“Here’s what they need to do: they have to make a him a fair offer within 10 days after he invokes that clause in the CFL rules,” Florio said. “And what this means is, they’re either gonna offer him something and he’s gonna accept it, or they’re gonna offer him something and he’s gonna say that’s not good enough. Or they’re gonna trade him or release him. And if that happens, someone’s gonna sign him. I think that’s what’s going on behind the scenes here. I think Manziel knows if the Tiger-Cats aren’t ready to do business, another team will.”
Manziel hasn’t played football since being cut by the Cleveland Browns at the end of the 2016 season. In January 2017, Manziel said he was sober and some NFL teams reportedly had interest in signing him, though according to ESPN, the interest was never serious.
Now, if Florio’s beliefs are correct, Manziel may be close to returning to football and a shot at redemption. With a lack of solid quarterback play early in the 2017 NFL season, if Manziel performs well in the CFL, he could perhaps parlay it into a second chance in the NFL.