Ticats reject Manziel after talks with CFL
Quarterback Johnny Manziel, under a domestic violence cloud from last year, would have been subjected to an assessment by an expert in violence against women before being able to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the CFL says.
Kent Austin, Hamilton’s vicepresident of football operations, confirmed Wednesday that Manziel had a workout with the Ticats last week in Buffalo, N.Y. But the team decided against offering the 24-year-old a contract.
However, the Ticats did make contact with the league about their interest in Manziel.
As part of that discussion, the team agreed to a voluntary assessment under the CFL’s domestic violence policy.
Manziel was charged in January 2016 after being accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
He reached a dismissal agreement that required him to complete an anger management class, attend a domestic violence impact panel and participate in a substance-abuse program.
“The Tiger-Cats did inform the commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, of their intention to evaluate Mr. Manziel and they and the commissioner discussed a thorough process Mr. Manziel would have to go through, including an assessment performed by an expert in violence against women,” a league spokesperson said.
“No determination was made because the Ticats decided not to offer Manziel a contract.”
Under the CFL constitution, the commissioner has the right to reject the contract of a player he feels “brings disrepute to the league or the game of football.”
The CFL could still subject Manziel to a review process if and when the Ticats — or any team — decide to sign him to a contract.
But Austin said the Ticats aren’t interested in bringing Manziel in for the time being.
“Johnny did some good things ... on the field he looked fine,” Austin said.
“He’s obviously a talented kid,” Austin added. “We’re not interested in signing Johnny right now. That won’t happen, that’s not imminent. We’re not signing Johnny right now.”
Manziel has been on the Ticats negotiation list since his days at Texas A&M, where he became the first freshman to capture the Heisman Trophy.
The Cleveland Browns selected him in the first round, No. 22 overall, in the 2014 NFL draft and he spent two seasons with the club, posting a 2-6 record as a starter before being released March 11, 2016.
But Manziel has made headlines for all the wrong reasons off the football field. He was dogged by reports of alcohol and drug use and spent 73 days at in treatment for an unspecified addiction.
News of Manziel’s workout with Hamilton comes two days after the franchise rescinded its controversial hiring of former Baylor head coach Art Briles.
Less than 12 hours after appointing Briles as its assistant head coach, the Ticats reversed the decision following a firestorm of criticism.
But Austin defended the decision to work out Manziel.
“We have a responsibility to evaluate every single player that’s on our (negotiation) list,” Austin said.
Johnny Manziel, celebrating after a 2015 touchdown by his Cleveland Browns of the NFL, has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. DREW EDWARDS
Johnny Manziel had a workout with the Ticats last week.