With the XFL gearing up for its return in 2020. A lot of the focus on the league right now is on its players. With seven XFL Summer Showcases down and one more to go July 13th. Between potential players and a pending team name and logos announcement. The buzz around the XFL is continuing to grow.
One name left out of the Summer Showcase mix so far has been one of the most notable free agents in football, Johnny Manziel. The former Heisman trophy winner and former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns has been a name tied to the new XFL. But is the XFL that interested in him?
Missing From Houston And Dallas Showcase
Manziel is from Texas and is a big name in that state. So speculation that he would wind up with one of the Texas XFL franchises is high. However, he did not appear in the XFL Dallas and XFL Houston Summer Showcase events. What made the situation even odder was that he was actually in Houston at the time doing an autograph signing.
ESPN wrote the following story Manziel interested in playing for Houston in XFL, in which he was at the TriStar collectors show in Houston. The same day there was an XFL Showcase in Houston.
As part of the interview, Manzeil said about joining the XFL. “When the opportunity presents itself.” He says it multiple times in the interview. One could speculate that “the opportunity” meaning if the XFL calls. Which based on the sound bite, sounds like the XFL has not called him.
Oliver Luck Specifically Asked About Manziel
During the XFL Summer Showcase in Washington, DC, Oliver Luck was explicitly asked about Manziel joining the XFL by USA Today, he said “Well, I don’t know that yet,” Luck told USA TODAY Sports. “That remains to be seen.” He went on to say that the XFL Showcase is in part about getting some tape and stats on potential XFL players.
There is plenty of tape on Manziel from his NFL, CFL and AAF days. As well as knowledge of him from current XFL coaches like June Jones who coached him briefly with the Hamiton Tight-cats of the CFL and Marc Trestman, a longtime coach in the CFL.
There is a lot of film on Manziel as well, but he has not really played football in the last couple of years. You would think if a team wanted to make him their franchise guy, they would want to work him out in person. Especially after all the off the field incidents, and personal issues he has surrounding him. Players like Landry Jones and Ryan Mallet have plenty of game film too, and they were invited to and participated in the XFL Showcases.
Bleacher Report Says Manziel Will Be In The XFL
Then around that same time of the XFL Summer Showcase in Texas. Beacher Report came out with different news concerning Johnny Manziel and the XFL. “According to one source, the XFL believes it’s only a matter of time before Manziel joins the league. The XFL and its teams are simply taking their time in evaluating the former Heisman Trophy winner.”
Manziel And The XFL Behind The Scenes
We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, Manziel could be holding out for more money, the XFL could be going more background research, the coaches all might have said they are not interested. We have no idea until XFL draft day in October.
With so much buzz and fan interest, good and bad, around the name Johnny Manziel you would think it would be a no brainer to have him in the new XFL. The AAF signed him right away after he was let go by the CFL. He would certainly be a ratings and media draw. The XFL however, seems to be not that interested in the Manziel name at this point.
Already with a strong league behind the leadership of Oliver Luck, a fantastic TV deal, great coaches and team presidents. It seems like Johnny Manziel needs the XFL more than the XFL needs Johnny Football.
The XFL is really the last stop for Manziel’s once-promising career. If you were the XFL would you sign him? Leave us a comment.
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