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Football league commissioner makes personal plea to get Johnny Manziel to sign contract

Johnny Manziel
Credit: Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After becoming a first-team All-American Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel used his wild success with the Texas A&M Aggies to land in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. While he was far from the first overall pick, the Cleveland Browns saw enough potential in ‘Johnny Football’ to select him 22nd overall.

Yet, the 6-foot, 207-pound quarterback never enjoyed nearly the same peaks of success he had while playing college football. Manziel saw just five games of action as a rookie and made just two starts. His sophomore NFL season wasn’t much better, where he made six starts and nine total appearances, passing for seven touchdowns and five interceptions while leading the Browns to a 2-4 record.

While the first two seasons of his NFL career were less than spectacular, no one imagined he wouldn’t ever play another down in the pros, not before he had even reached the age of 24.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened. Manziel was released from his contract with the Browns in 2016, and he’d go on to bounce around in the CFL, the now-defunct AAF, and even the fan-controlled football league from 2021-22.

But Manziel didn’t get back on the field last year, leaving some to wonder if the 31-year-old Texas native has retired from football for good. That’s not what the Arena Football League wants.

Specifically, AFL commissioner Lee Hutton III recently made a public plea to Manziel, offering him a roster spot in his league.

“I reached out to Johnny Manziel,” Hutton said. “So, Johnny, I’m a Texas guy. So, if you’re ready to come back and indoors—because you did very well—we will take you. We will find a spot for you.”

Arena Football League commissioner Lee Hutton III asking Johnny Manziel to join AFL

Manziel hasn’t responded to Hutton’s request yet, and he may decide not to. But if fans got involved, showing their love for the potential return of Johnny Football, it’s hard to imagine him being able to say no.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft: Broncos, Vikings get QBs, projecting J.J. McCarthy’s landing spot

Related: Johnny Manziel reveals how LeBron James tried pulling him out of depression during dark days with Cleveland Browns

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