Did the CFL just kill Johnny Manziel?

Earlier today, the Montreal Alouettes announced that, under the direction of the CFL, Johnny Manziel’s contract would be terminated effective immediately. This decision came after Manziel supposedly violated the terms of his contract, also making him ineligible to play for any other CFL team.

It’s still unclear what prompted the team’s action, but it appears that it will remain confidential and undisclosed to the public. I really only have one guess as to how Manziel’s contract terms were violated: a failed drug test. It would make sense. Because of Johnny Football’s past shenanigans, the CFL might have added a provision in his contract requiring him to submit to random drug testing in order to protect how the public sees the league. I’m not sure if this is actually how the contract was violated, but I think it’s plausible.

It would be a damn shame if this was true. Manziel was one of the more intriguing football stories we’ve had in the past decade. I’m always rooting for those who have fallen from grace to make incredible comebacks. Not that I think he was an excellent role model (in any way shape or form), but seeing Michael Vick have success for the Philadelphia Eagles was as good of a comeback as we’ve ever seen. And it really seemed like Manziel was taking the right steps to exercise his demons and make it back to the NFL. If a failed drug test is actually what did it, that’d be a tough hit to take, for more than one reason.

With Montreal releasing him, I think it’s a good time to ask the main question on everyone’s mind: is this the last we’ll be seeing of Johnny Manziel on the football field? Personally, I don’t think the Manziel era is over quite yet. Why?

Three letters: the AAF.

The AAF is one destination that I think is a possibility for Manziel. While the CFL is often seen as the NFL’s little brother, it’s at least competitive and well established. There are documented cases of players having tons of success and making GREAT money playing in the CFL. Players like Warren Moon, Cameron Wake, Jeff Garcia, and Joe Horn are just some of the names who have made a fantastic living playing north of the border. However, since the CFL is already well established, how does the newly-formed AAF compare to the almighty NFL?

It’s been pretty well-documented that one of the main functions of the AAF could be to serve as a developmental league for the NFL.

Now, thanks to the AAF, additional chances could exist for those castoffs and the countless other undrafted and unsigned players to further develop into NFL-caliber players.

USA Today

The point I’m trying to make is that, as it currently stands, no one sees the AAF as a final destination for players. It’s seen as a chance for players to get reps and develop their skills so that they can move on to bigger and better things. So, in a sense, the AAF could be considered a step down from the CFL, where players have been known to sometimes stay their entire careers. This would present a potential landing spot for Manziel now that he’s banned from playing in Canada, and the opportunity might even bring more exposure for NFL teams to see him play. And since the XFL is not allowing any players with criminal records to play in the league, Manziel’s past misdemeanor charges might restrict him to only playing in the AAF.

Plus, I’m pretty sure this guy…

… will be a better starting quarterback in the AAF than this guy…

However, in the event this is in fact the last time Johnny Football touches the field in professional football, let’s take a look back at both the rises and falls of one of the most electric college football players of all time.

In memoriam…

Manziel’s first start at Texas A&M:

Manziel showing his cocky side:

Manziel leading A&M to a shocking upset of what was considered to be the best Alabama football team of all time heading into that season:

Manziel winning the Heisman as a freshman:

Manziel living it up as the Heisman winner:

Manziel still running the college football world as a sophomore:

Manziel getting drafted by the Browns:

Manziel getting released by the Browns:

Manziel continuing the party:

Manziel’s father putting him on blast:

Manziel readying himself for a comeback:

Manziel making his CFL debut:

It doesn’t look good for Johnny Football right now, but this TFTB writer is rooting hard for the guy.

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