CFL team calls Johnny Manziel workout report false, threatens lawsuit

Nov 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Former Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has recently told the media of his plans for a 2017 comeback to the NFL. On Thursday, it’s his reported involvement with a Canadian Football League team which is making headlines.

The Hamilton Spectator reported earlier in the week that Manziel worked out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last month in Florida. If the report is true, it would mean the Roughriders were in violation of CFL rules. Manziel is on the negotiation list for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which means they hold exclusive negotiation rights. The Roughriders have denied the workout report, and are threatening legal action.

The CFL drama is unlikely to interest SEC fans who follow Manziel, though if he is pursuing the CFL, it shows that he has accepted that he is unlikely to get an NFL opportunity without first playing (and excelling) in a lesser league. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner last played in the NFL during the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns. Manziel was drafted No. 22 overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Browns.

Cleveland cut Manziel on March 11. At that time, he was facing a domestic violent case and had been dropped as a client by his former agent. In June, the NFL announced he was suspended for the first four games of the season in violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. He did not appear on an NFL roster in the 2016 season and enrolled as a student at Texas A&M in September.

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