Former first round draft pick Johnny Manziel took the first step toward returning to the NFL this week when he worked out for 13 teams in the University of San Diego’s pro day Thursday. The news was reported by Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.
As written by Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com…
Watching USD’s pro day were representatives from the Patriots, Bears, Browns, Chargers, Giants, Chiefs, Jets, Raiders, Titans, Lions, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers, per Williams.
The former first-rounder has been working out in Southern California in an attempt to mount an NFL comeback after an embarrassing exit from the league in 2016. Manziel, 25, was invited to throw to USD receiver Justin Priest and tight end Ross Dwelley, who did not have a QB to throw to them. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport explained, it was a win-win for both parties.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the teams interested in Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft. Gus Bradley, who was head coach of the Jaguars at the time, praised Manziel as a top prospect. The Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. Manziel lasted until the 22nd pick and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
Manziel told the media in attendance his life has changed since his time in the NFL and has committed himself to getting back on the playing field and living his NFL dream.
“I drive down here [San Diego] a couple times a week and work out six days a week, and that’s pretty much the schedule,” Manziel said. “I’m a married man. I’m at home with my wife and my dogs, and I don’t have a lot of time after that after doing six-hour training days. I’m happy with where things are. I think things are going well, and I couldn’t ask for a better place to be in my life right now.”
Johnny Manziel debuted for the Texas A&M Aggies as a redshirt freshman in Kevin Sumlin’s Air Raid offense during A&M’s first season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2012. He broke numerous NCAA Division I FBS and SEC records, which included becoming the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
He became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Manziel led Texas A&M to a 41–13 victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
To further his development, Manziel said he plans to play in the Spring League, which is a developmental league in Austin, Texas which begins March 28. Also, he could opt to play in the CFL where the Hamilton Tiger-Cats own his rights.
“I know I’ve rubbed people the wrong way,” Manziel added. “I know there’s still people that still doubt what I’m doing and still doubt where I’m at.”