May 19, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 10 months ago

Manziel putting NFL dream on hold, signing with CFL

Johnny Manziel didn’t find any NFL takers during his stint in The Spring League last month, so he says he’ll resume his playing career by signing with the Canadian Football League.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel watches the Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers NBA game at Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., October 17, 2014. REUTERS/David Richard-USA TODAY Sports/File photo

“Made the decision today to sign my contract with the CFL and further my football career after a long break. Very grateful for everyone that’s been supporting me along the way. I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds,” he tweeted Saturday morning.

Manziel’s CFL rights are held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who extended a qualifying offer in January. CFL training camps start on May 16 for rookies.

Any deal with the Tiger-Cats would have to be for a minimum of two years, meaning Manziel is committed to the CFL through the 2019 season.

June Jones, the Hamilton coach, has said Manziel would have to win the job away from starter Jeremiah Masoli, who threw for 3,177 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions in 12 games last season.

Manziel was released by the Cleveland Browns, who took him in the first round of the 2014 draft, in March 2016 after numerous off-field issues and a suspension under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Earlier this month, Manziel was hospitalized due to an adverse reaction to prescription medication after he attended the JMBLYA music festival in Houston.

Denise Michaels, Manziel’s representative, told TMZ, “It seems like he had a reaction to an adjustment in his prescription. He’s fine and headed home.”

“Thank you everyone for your concern and kind messages,” Manziel wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately I had a reaction to an increased dosage in lithium which I take for my bipolar disorder. It was a scary moment and I’m especially grateful for the staff at the hospital and all that they’ve done in the last 24 hours.”

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