Johnny Manziel plays in final Spring League game, has time to mull CFL offer while awaiting NFL spot


AUSTIN, Texas — Quarterback Johnny Manziel played in his second and final game of the Spring League on Thursday night and has a little more than a month before he has to make a decision about his future in football.

Manziel has a standing offer from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a CFL team. If he elects to sign with the Tiger-Cats, he will be making a two-year commitment to playing for the team. CFL training camps begin May 16 for rookies, so Manziel has about a month to sign with the Tiger-Cats or decide to wait for an offer from an NFL team.

“I’m straight back to working out and doing what I did when I came here,” Manziel said of his future after the Spring League. “Everything else will sort itself out. I’m trying to do what I can do to come back to playing football whatever capacity that is.

“We know when deadlines are. We have another month or so to work out and not worry about anything.”

The Spring League is a developmental league with a two-game season that provides opportunities for players, who pay a fee to be there, hoping to showcase their play for a chance to land on an NFL roster.

Being back on the football field has been great, Manziel said: “It’s been beyond my wildest dreams. There was a time there I didn’t know if I would actually do it. … I’m extremely happy just to be healthy, just to get to throw the ball around. I’ve missed this.”

Manziel said he felt better on Thursday night than he did in the first game on Saturday. Manziel was 10-of-16 for 188 yards and an interception, including 8-of-10 for 145 yards in the first half. Manziel added 27 rushing yards on six attempts and two touchdowns.

One of Manziel’s best throws came in the first quarter when he threw a 50-yard pass to Antwan Gooley down the right sideline. On the next play, the quarterback ran for a 14-yard touchdown.

Manziel acknowledged that his throwing is still rusty, but he felt he “showed [he] can still throw the ball around.” Manziel emphasized that he can’t control whether an NFL team wants to sign him but that he’s “just happy to be back on the field.”

“I got to do exactly what I want to do and what I’ve been missing for the last two years,” Manziel said.

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