Johnny Manziel’s NFL comeback is starting to look legit

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 27: Quarterback Johnny Manziel
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 27: Quarterback Johnny Manziel /

Johnny Manziel wants back into the NFL, and teams showed up to watch him throw at the University of San Diego’s pro day.

Johnny Manziel wants back into the NFL. If he is in the right place off the field, he may not have to go to the CFL, a league this spring, the XFL or the Alliance of American Football to do so. Manziel was took part in the pro day at the University of San Diego on Thursday, and 13 NFL teams were in attendance.

Manziel worked out with Toreros receiver Justin Priest and tight end Ross Dwelley on San Diego, and with no quarterback to throw to them at the pro day an invite came. Manziel is surely the biggest celebrity on that campus since Jim Harbaugh was head coach from 2004-2006. Chargers writer Eric Williams tweeted out the list of NFL teams who saw Manziel throw. Turns out close to half the league was interested in getting a look at “Johnny Football.”

One of the more interesting teams on the list is the Browns, who drafted Manziel 22nd overall in 2014 only to watch him flame out. But that was a couple front office regimes ago now, and they were in the relative vicinity at USC’s pro day to watch Sam Darnold on Wednesday.

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Manziel will not step right in and start anywhere, but a team could bring him into compete for a backup job. Of the 13 teams that saw him Thursday, only the Browns, Jets and Giants stand out as likely to take a quarterback early in April’s draft while also not likely to be seriously interested in any sort of veteran quarterback. Every one else, most notably the Patriots, Raiders, Titans and Lions, could use more competition on their depth chart behind established signal callers.