After a series of tweets by Johnny Manziel about the XFL, it’s pretty clear that both parties need each other. Hopefully, they can make it happen one day.
Johnny Manziel and the XFL need each other.
It would be a match made in professional spring football heaven. Last spring, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and the 2014 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns briefly played in the AAF for the Memphis Express.
His failed professional football career is well documented and one that’s strangely over before his 28th birthday. Could we get a triumphant return of Johnny Football?
Manziel tweeted early on Saturday morning about how if XFL commissioner Oliver Luck wanted to see a boost in television ratings, then the upstart professional football league needs to bring him into the equation.
He then went on to deactivate his Twitter account, only to resurface a few hours later, explaining how he has no interest to play professional football in the XFL, that he is retired and that he loves to stir up some controversy. Got it? Okay, cool.
Manziel last played in the NFL in 2015. After a few years out of football, he made the trek north to spend some time in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Montreal Alouettes.
Like his NFL and AAF career, his CFL was too short-lived. His fall from grace from SEC stardom was both sad and not that surprising. Manziel can play in this league, but should he partner up with the XFL?
It really depends on fit, as well as overall stability. Though in its first-year, the XFL seems to be in a significantly better spot financially than its spring league predecessor.
The television deals are infinitely better, the attendance is fine and the quality of play is good. So it wouldn’t be shocking to see the second incarnation of the XFL survive in the 21st century media landscape.
As for teams who could have interest in Manziel, what about the two Texas-based teams? In the early part of the season, the Houston Roughnecks and the Dallas Renegades look like two of the better-run XFL teams.
Having a high-profile backup quarterback isn’t what the NFL is about, but in the XFL, it’s not the end of the world. Walker is one of the few quarterbacks in this league who may garner some NFL interest.
Jones spent most of his professional career out of Oklahoma in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is a chance neither are back with their XFL team this time next season.
Manziel could have an opportunity to enter a winnable quarterback battle in 2021 to star on a big stage in his native Texas.
Though the league may not be embracing its Vince McMahon WWE roots, Manziel has the polarizing personality and electrifying play to make this upstart spring league all the more relevant. In the process, he may find football happiness once again.