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Odds Heavily Favor Johnny Manziel’s Next Pro Football Game Being in AAF

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in AAF

Updated Mar 2, 2021 · 3:14 PM PST

Johnny Manziel in college.
Will we see Johnny Manziel in an XFL uniform in 2020? Photo by Shutterbug459 (Wikimedia).
  • The CFL has directed the Montreal Alouettes to release Johnny Manziel
  • Manziel will not be allowed to sign with any other CFL team
  • The former Heisman Trophy winner could get another shot in the AAF or XFL

How many second chances is Johnny Manziel going to get?

The once-hyped quarterback got a second chance in the CFL last season and was expected to be the starting quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes in 2019.

As it turns out, he’s been booted from the league. Is the AAF in his cards next?

Odds Where Manziel Plays Next Football Game

League Odds
AAF -350
XFL +700
AFL or IFL +700
CIF, NAL or AAL +900
NFL +1200

*Odds taken 2/28

AAF Is Favored

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is supposed to be the league of the second chances. On the surface, it might seem like that’s the best fit for Manziel.

The league came to life just a month ago and has since picked up steam. The product has been decent but the quarterbacking play has lacked, so Manziel could get a shot.

Taking a look at the other quarterbacks who are hanging around, there are guys like Christian Hackenberg, Matt Simms, and Logan Woodside getting a shot.

And it’s worth noting that Manziel was decent in the CFL. It was a big adjustment for him and he threw four interceptions in his first start, but he got better down the stretch with five touchdowns and just two picks the rest of the way.

Manziel mostly fits the mold but can he stay out of trouble? The reason for his release will dictate where – or if – he gets another shot anywhere else.

Why Was He Released?

That’s the question that we’re waiting to get answered.

Remember, Manziel has a history of drugs, alcohol, and domestic violence. If it’s announced by the CFL that he was released because he relapsed or got into some kind of legal challenge, it’s likely the AAF avoids him.

At the same time, the early reports suggest that Manziel missed required meetings with people who were supposed to make sure he stayed on the right path.

Those meetings were a condition of his employment with the CFL. They set up ground rules when they allowed Manziel to sign and it looks like he didn’t adhere to them.

If that’s all it is, then he’s likely going to get a shot in the AAF. If it’s something worse than that, he might not get a second chance to play anywhere.

What’s The Best Bet?

Based on the early information, it seems like the AAF is a good bet.

The league is doing well but is lacking some star power. Giving Manziel a shot would definitely spark greater interest in the league. Fans would probably watch to see if he can succeed.

If he did join the AAF, it looks like the San Antonio Commanders would get a first crack at him. He played college ball at Texas A&M and San Antonio has a number of players who come from the Aggies roster. If they pass, he becomes a free agent for anyone to sign.

At the same time, if the CFL tells us that Manziel was barred for criminal reasons – something more than just a missed meeting – it’s likely the AAF steers clear.

That would line up well with him signing with the XFL at that point, who is likely far more forgiving to players who have gotten in trouble in the past. At +700, it might be worth a flier.

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