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Johnny Manziel is Returning to Football With a New League
AP Photo/David Richard

Money Manziel is back.

After previously claiming he was “retired”, Johnny Manziel is yet again lacing up the cleats and putting on the pads to join a new football league. The former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback who wowed fans en route to a Heisman Trophy will get another chance to show he can play beyond the college football level.

Manziel isn’t joining just any league, however, and not because he’s already played in all of them (seriously, just look at his pro football history). He’ll be starring in a new league where everything is controlled entirely by fans.

Johnny Manziel’s New League

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The 28-year-old quarterback will play for the Zappers in the Fan-Controlled Football League, a league where the fans can decide uniforms, logos, rosters and even call plays.

Manziel reached his team hotel in Gwinnett County, Georgia, this week. He told ESPN that he was excited about the unique opportunity.

“The more I heard about what this was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something that was just very fun,” Manziel said. “It’s going to be very fan-oriented and something I could get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious, the way that my football career has been in the past.”

Manziel last played organized football for the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football (AAF). The Cleveland Browns 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick played two seasons in Cleveland before playing in the Canadian Football League, The Spring League, and the AAF.

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FCF co-founder and CEO Sohrob Farudi told ESPN that he wanted fans to embrace Manziel’s big personality, not shun it.

“He got into these other leagues and, I hate to say this, but it’s like the handcuffs were put on,” Farudi said. “You had to act differently. You had to walk and talk differently. He couldn’t just be himself. That’s where we want to be different as a league.”

It’s unclear how much money Manziel signed for.

What Is Fan-Controlled Football?

Fan-Controlled Football isn’t nearly like other football leagues. It will consist of 7-on-7 games and the field is only 50 yards long with 10-yard end zones in an Atlanta facility. Players on teams will have played in Division I and II as well as the CFL, XFL and Indoor Football League.

The league will officially kick off on February 13 and can be viewed on the streaming app Twitch.

Owners in the league include high-profile NFL and celebrity names like Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Austin Ekeler, rapper Quavo and Mike Tyson.

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Manziel’s team is co-owned by MLB pitcher Trevor May, comedian Bob Menery and 2K Sports digital marketing director Ronnie 2K.

Hopefully, the Heisman Trophy-winner can get back to being the Johnny Football he was at Texas A&M.

MORE: Johnny Manziel Scored 150 TDs in High School, And His Highlights Are Unreal

Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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