If you were away at a cottage for the Victoria Day Long weekend with no cell service you most likely missed out on some big CFL news.
The biggest CFL transaction this weekend that will impact the upcoming season was Adam Bighill signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The modern-day Mike O’Shea playing for Mike O’Shea changes the landscape of the West. The biggest signing of the long weekend that changes the future of the CFL is 2018 first round draft pick Peter Godber agreeing to a contract with the BC Lions. The offensive lineman out of Rice was selected third overall and could become the Lions’ best non-import lineman of the next decade.
But that’s not what was trending on Twitter and setting off Google alerts.
The 2018 campaign has started earlier than most seasons and there already is added intrigue with the announcement that Johnny Manziel is in fact coming North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Like only he can, the celebrity QB hijacked Twitter in the height of royal wedding madness on Saturday morning to trend in his own right after he broke the news himself while waiting at customs at the Buffalo, N.Y., border.
Here’s all the pertinent news on the signing and what it means for the league, team and player moving forward.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Manziel has 2.2 million Twitter followers. The CFL league account has 274,000 and the Ti-Cats have 141,000. Manziel signing was home page news on ESPN, SI.com, Bleacher Report, Deadspin and TMZ plus was discussed on Pardon The Interruption.
Manziel is just 25. From a physical standpoint, he should have a decade of good QB play left in his body, especially since his body hasn’t been hit for the past two years. Prior to Sebastian Giovinco, the MLS generally didn’t land international soccer stars in their primes. Similarly, the CFL doesn’t often get first-round NFL QBs in their primes either.
This is the highest-profile signing in the CFL since Ricky Williams joined the Toronto Argonauts in 2006.
During his two seasons at Texas A&M University in 2012-13, Manziel was the most electrifying player in the NCAA. In 26 games with the Aggies, he completed 595 of 863 pass attempts for 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions, while adding 345 rushing attempts for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns. In 2012, Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award.
Manziel was then drafted by Cleveland Browns in the first round, 22nd overall, of the 2014 NFL Draft. Manziel got in 14 games and started eight for Cleveland in 2014 and 2015 before being released in 2016.
WHAT HAS HE BEEN DOING SINCE:
Manziel threw at the University of San Diego’s pro day and at the pro day of his alma mater, Texas A&M, in March.
He’s been working out in California with QB coach Terry Shea and high-performance trainer Jamal Liggin, Leonard Fournette and his friend Odell Beckham Jr. is his throwing partner.