Johnny Manziel will begin CFL career as backup

All eyes will be on former Heisman winner and Cleveland Browns first-round pick Johnny Manziel in Canada this coming Friday as he makes his preseason debut with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Out of professional football since 2015, the embattled Manziel is attempting to make his way back to the NFL. By signing with the Tiger-Cats, he has taken a significant step in that process.

Though, Manziel will not be the team’s starting quarterback for its preseason opener Friday against the Toronto Argonauts. In fact, he won’t get the call in Hamilton’s regular season opener against the Calgary Stampeders on June 16. Instead, those honors will go to former Oregon standout signal caller Jeremiah Masoli.

“Masoli is going to play until I feel good about it,” Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones said about Friday’s preseason opener, via USA Today. “And then the rest of the game will be whatever we decide – 15 plays each, or whatever.”

Jones, a former NFL head coach, also indicted that Masoli will “absolutely” start Week 1.

This is just the latest example of Manziel doing everything possible to work his way back into the NFL. His off-field and substance abuse issues are already well known.

With that said, Johnny Football has done everything right in the past year-plus to show others he’s fully committed to football. A brief stint in a semi-pro spring league earlier this year is the latest example of this.

All eyes will certainly be on Manziel to see how he performs in limited action Friday night at Tim Hortons Field.