After rumors of negotiations with the Canadian Football League and after a public relations tour on television and podcasts over the last few days, it appears as though the comeback season — wait, sorry… the ComebackSZN! — of Johnny Manziel is happening. As reported in a statement provided by Manziel himself to Bleacher Report, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and two-year NFL washout in Cleveland will be playing in Austin, Texas in something called the Spring League, starting in late March:
“Football has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Sometimes you take for granted how much you value something until it’s gone. My goal is to make it back to the NFL and I realize I have to earn that privilege. The Spring League has provided me with a great opportunity to play ball again, and ultimately, that is all I want to do. I miss the competition. I’d like to thank Brian Woods and The Spring League staff for this opportunity to play the game I love. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I’m 25 years old and I know my best football is ahead of me.”
For those unfamiliar with the Spring League, it is heading into its second season, after an inaugural season held in West Virginia in 2017. The league consists of four teams playing two games over roughly a three-week period from late March through mid-April. Manziel will play for the South team.
Among the players who played snaps in the 2017 iteration of the Spring League were running back Fred Jackson, tight end Kellen Winslow II, quarterback Ricky Stanzi and running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Manziel made his announcement via Twitter, as well:
OK, as the resident Manziel-o-phile here at the Houston Press, as you can imagine, I have a few thoughts on these developments:
4. At least the “ComebackSZN” gear is factual now.
As fresh as Johnny’s gear looks in his online store, it’s kind of hard to have a “ComebackSZN” when you’re not actually performing the comeback. Eventually, you need to, y’know, DO SOMETHING (other than print hoodies) to have it be a real comeback. Honestly, Manziel’s comeback from his 18 month drunken bender back to the world of sobriety is probably a worthy comeback to those close to him. To the rest of us, we want to see if the guy can play football, and now, we will get that chance in SOME form.
3. The Spring League struck four weeks of gold.
How great is this for the Spring League, which I’m guessing 99.9999 percent of the people reading about Manziel’s announcement didn’t even know existed until they read the article? The Spring League has gotten more free pub from Johnny’s tweet and articles like this one than they could get in ten years of conventional advertising. The CEO of the Spring League is someone named Brian Woods, and he is understandably thrilled:
“We’re excited to have such a dynamic player in Johhny Manziel taking part in the Spring League,” Spring League CEO Brian Woods said in a statement provided to Bleacher Report. “We believe our platform is the…