Despite not utilizing Johnny Manziel in his team’s season opener last week, Hamilton Tiger-Cats coach June Jones believes the former first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns should be playing for a team in the NFL.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,’’ Jones told ESPN.com. “He should be playing in the National Football League, and I believe he will when he gets through with us.’’
Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League after not finding any NFL takers during his stint in The Spring League. Manziel impressed during Hamilton’s preseason, but he remains the team’s backup behind Jeremiah Masoli, who went 25-of-36 for 344 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score as the Tiger-Cats lost to the host Calgary Stampeders 28-14 on Saturday.
Manziel was released by the Browns in March 2016 after numerous off-field issues and a suspension under the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has since said he’s cleaned up his act and is ultimately focused on returning to the NFL.
“It’ll take two years,’’ Jones told ESPN. “They’re (NFL executives, coaches) waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems.
“He’s humble,’’ Jones added. “He’s growing up every day.’’
—Field Level Media