CFL clears Johnny Manziel to play for Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel walks off the field after the Browns lost 31-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, December 28, 2017 12:41PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 28, 2017 1:29PM EST
TORONTO -- Johnny Manziel has clearance to resume his pro football career in Canada.
The CFL announced Thursday it would approve a contract for Manziel should it be negotiated with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who hold Manziel's rights.
In August, the former Heisman Trophy winner worked out for the Ticats, who passed on making him an offer. But Manziel's camp activated Hamilton's 10-day window, forcing the CFL club to make a decision on whether to sign, trade or release him.
The CFL then stepped in and extended the window for further evaluation.
The following month, Manziel met with commissioner Randy Ambrosie to discuss a resolution, which included Manziel having to fulfil certain requirements to join the league. Shortly afterwards, the CFL announced the Ticats would hold Manziel's rights until Nov. 30 before extending it again into January to continue with its due diligence.
"As a result of this process, the commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated," the CFL said in its statement. "The process that led to this decision does, however, will continue.
"Mr. Manziel has been informed he must continue to meet a number of conditions in order to remain eligible. These conditions, while extensive and exacting, remain confidential."
Manziel, 25, captured the Heisman Trophy in 2012 at Texas A&M and was selected in the first round, No. 22 overall, in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
But the native of Tyler, Texas, was released after just two seasons and has been out of football since.
"We appreciate the CFL office and commissioner Randy Ambrosie's due diligence in this matter," the Ticats said in a statement. "We also recognize Johnny Manziel for thus far demonstrating the attributes necessary to continue his career in our great league.
"We will have no further comment at this time."
Erik Burkhardt, Manziel's agent, didn't immediately return a telephone message Thursday.
Earlier this month, after signing a three-year contract to remain Hamilton's head coach, June Jones boldly gushed about Manziel's potential.
"I think he'd be the best player to ever play up here," Jones said. "He can throw it and he can run it like nobody ever has been able to do."