Field marshal Johnny Manziel played a football game for the first time in 832 days, a modest step on his long journey to return to elite sport. In the equivalent of two quarters in a high school stadium in the suburbs of Austin, Manziel threw a touchdown pass but was also caught three times in what seemed like the last quarter of an NFL preseason game. The activity came after nine days of practice between 170 players who pay a fee to participate in the Spring League, which is touted as a development league that gives an opportunity to players who are not in an NFL squad but expect to be .
Manziel completed his first seven passes and finished with nine complete in 15 attempts for 82 yards. He said he was frustrated with the nature of the game but made it clear that he was excited to get back on the field. "It's disappointing, some of the things that happened," he said, "but still, it's a big step for me." I put on my equipment, "Many wrote to me just to get to this point." It's definitely emotional, I'm happy. It's the ultimate goal for me, but I'm having fun again, I have a smile on my face. " The league has more games scheduled for April 12, after which Manziel expects to receive interest from the NFL teams. Otherwise, he has indicated that he will probably commit for two years to playing in the Canadian Football League.Follow your daily VIP bettings soccer.
"The message I am sending is shown every day and in meetings," he said. "Being involved in everything that happens during the practice and in the game, I can not control what happens [with the interest of the NFL teams] and I do not know what happens in the NFL meetings, if that is the case If the NFL is something that comes up, perfect, if not, I'll work until I get back in. We'll see how things turn out. " Manziel's rights in the NFL belong to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Its general manager, Eric Tillman, was among the present representatives of the NFL and CFL. A total of 17 NFL teams have sent scouts to practice, according to Spring League CEO Brian Woods. Manziel attended high school about two hours away in Kerrville, Texas, and most of the 2,500 attendees calculated at the Kelly Reeves Stadium appeared to be supporting the local hero. Manziel showed some flashes of his ability to make plays, leaving the protective bag twice to complete passes - including the touchdown - while also escaping for 11 and 10 yards. The competition was less than the one he would face in both the NFL and the CFL, but he gave scouts from both leagues an important sample of his progress.
"You can get there just by working in this kind of environment," said Terry Shea, a former NFL coach and collegiate who runs the Spring League football operations. "If he were at home throwing his friends against the air, he would not have any of this, so from this point of view, I would say he has really grown up here. "I've never been with Johnny Manziel until now, but I see a very fast arm, I see his eyes very active, he sees things and those classic Johnny Manziel plays, especially when he's on the move, I've seen them here."
Manziel played for the last time in a game on December 27, 2015, near the end of his second season with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns cut him in March 2016 and went through a spiral of substance abuse for two years that he often documented on social media. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been treated for depression. The NFL teams will open their offseason programs this month. The CFL training camps begin May 16 for the rookies and the regular season of the league begins on June 14. Manziel has about a month to decide whether to wait for an offer from the NFL or commit for two years with the CFL. In the latter case, he would be eligible to play in the NFL until November 2019 at the earliest.