The CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats currently own the rights to former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Manziel may bypass the CFL in order to take one more shot at getting back into the NFL.
With that in mind, the Tiger-Cats are already moving on with their potential future quarterback choices. The team announced on Tuesday that they had added some really interesting names to their negotiation list: former Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and current 2018 Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa.
Being added to a CFL team’s negotiation list does not affect any player’s NCAA or NFL status, but it does give the CFL team the right to sign that player should they come available.
Tagovailoa — expected to be Alabama’s starter next season after leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback in the national championship game — is a very out there pick that seems ambitious at best; Tagovailoa will likely be at Alabama for at least two more seasons.
Griffin is a more interesting pick, though, as the former Baylor quarterback did not take an NFL snap in the 2017 season, and it makes sense that he could try the CFL route if he really wants playing time in the future.
The CFL had declared before that “too many red flags” in Manziel’s personal life had led to the decision that the former Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner would be ineligible from joining the league in the 2017 season. However, it was stated in September that Manziel would be eligible in the 2018 season if he met certain conditions, and it appears that Manziel had reached that point.
However, Manziel has instead opted to try the Spring League instead in an attempt to an NFL contract before locking down a deal with the CFL.
Manziel, 25, has not played pro football since the 2015 season, as the Browns released him back in March of last year after growing conerns over Manziel’s mental health. Since that release, Manziel was indicted for assault charges (since dropped), fired by his agent, and suspended by the NFL under its drug policy. Manziel’s fall comes after he became the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy back in 2012. Manziel was later selected by the Cleveland Browns with a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
[H/T For the Win]