Johnny Manziel signs to play for the AAF's Memphis Express

Sherman Parsons
March 19, 2019

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of a Canadian Football League game Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Montreal. He landed with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL a year ago, and had five touchdowns and seven interceptions over eight games played.

The CFL directed the Alouettes to release Manziel in February due to an agreement breach. The former National Football League quarterback would have been sent to the San Antonio Commanders since he played at Texas A&M, but the team released his rights. Every team in the AAF will now have a chance to sign him in reverse order of the current standings, with the Memphis Express (1-5) getting first priority.

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Manziel was suspended by the NFL in 2016 for violating the league's substance abuse policy, but never pursued playing in the league again.

The former Texas A&M football star known as "Johnny Football" is still in some demand despite his widely reported personal and professional problems. Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger and Brandon Silvers have all played quarterback already this season for the Express. It said it would not honor a contract signed with any other CFL team but did not disclose Manziel's specific contractual violations. The AAF, in its 6th week of action, is consequently enjoying its first year of existence with the backing of several NFL greats, including, of course, Manziel's new coach on the Memphis Express, NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary. But in a statement Saturday night, general manager Daryl Johnston said he was content keeping the Western Conference-leading Commanders as presently constructed, so the team relinquished Manziel's rights.

After flaming out in the National Football League, then a brief appearance in the CFL, Johnny Manziel is now back in the states with the AAF.

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