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Spring League sends invites to Johnny Manziel, Ray Rice and Vince Young

Jesse Reed
Courtesy of USA Today Sports

There is a new independent pro football league kicking off in April called the Spring League, which is offering a fresh start for many. Along with players who never made it in the NFL, the Spring League is eyeing the likes of Johnny Manziel, Ray Rice and Vince Young, all who have seen their favor in the NFL wane for one reason or another.

Brian Woods, CEO of the Spring League, sent a strong message to Manziel in particular.

“If Johnny Manziel is serious about a future in the NFL, the Spring League is willing to provide him with a platform to prove he’s still relevant,” Woods said, per the Associated Press.

On Friday, ESPN’s Ed Werder passed along information about Manziel in which the former Cleveland Browns quarterback declared he got himself sober without the help of any professionals. He also said he is just dying to get back onto the playing field (more on that here).

Woods told the AP that he also discussed the Spring League with representatives of Rice and Young, who could help bring publicity to the new league.

Though, the main goal of this venture is to give younger players a chance to hone their skills and act as a sort of development league, something that has been lacking for years.

“Our core strategy is to address deficiencies in the current pro football landscape by providing a showcase to experienced NFL players and an instructional platform for younger talent in need of live game repetitions, which are paramount for development,” Woods said.

The Spring League has already received commitments from former NFL receiver Jalen Saunders, along with former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, running back Zach Bauman, linebacker Will Smith, safety Pierre Warren, defensive backs Justin Green and Ellis Lankster, and linebacker Tyler Starr, per the Associated Press report.