It now appears that heading north of the border to continue his football career wasn’t a good move for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel has been cut by the Montreal Alouettes and banned from signing with any other CFL teams.
According to CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, Manziel violated the conditions which the league had established for him to play in the league.
“We advised Montreal that Johnny had violated one of the conditions we had set for him to be in our league. And Montreal announced his release today,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie told the media in Vancouver.
Ambrosie went on to add that the league would not be sharing what those ‘conditions’ were.
“We didn’t release the terms of those conditions then, and we’re not going to do that now.”
Considering his past, the easy assumption would be that it must have something to do with drugs, alcohol, and/or domestic abuse. But those would be cut and dry reasons; there would be no reason not to share them with the public.
What further complicates the matter is what Alouettes GM Kavis Reed had to say about Manziel. In his statement, he was complimentary of how Manziel performed in his short time with the team and said that the team would not have released him. Since the league-mandated it, they had to.
Like Ambrosie, Reed refused to provide any insight as to what went down, just that the conditions had been violated. The CFL tried to work with Manziel and presented him with options, but he was unwilling to proceed.
If the team and league were willing to work with Manziel and he was ‘unwilling’ as they put it, it doesn’t sound like there was a reoccurrence of anything the old Manziel would do. It sounds more like Manziel may have interest in one of the options now available in the United States, the Alliance of American Football and the XFL.
It wouldn’t be shocking to find out he had been in contact with his former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, who is now the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals.
The Canadian Football League used to give its players a chance to explore opportunities in the NFL. They called it the ‘NFL Loophole.’ While it is understandable that players would want to go somewhere they can be paid significantly more, the CFL has a product to protect as well.
So, when the 2012 collective bargaining agreement went into effect, the loophole was eliminated. The league did vote to reinstate the window last year, but with conditions which Manziel did not meet.
Manziel released his own comment on Twitter Wednesday afternoon:
I want to thank Coach Sherman, my teammates, and the CFL fans. My time there reestablished my love for the game of football and the work that goes into it. I look forward to exploring new options within the United States.
With an AAF team in San Antonio, he could be back in front of fans that know him and remember the good ole days. But he could also hold out another year and play for the Dallas XFL team under Bob Stoops.
It would be interesting to see him working with Kingsbury again. But after dealing with the fallout from saying he liked Kyler Murray, it is doubtful Kingsbury tries to sign him.