Johnny Manziel Fails to Sign CFL Contract by Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2018

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up before an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Johnny Manziel's hopes of playing in the CFL may be dashed after he failed to agree on a contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by Wednesday, which he had outlined as his final day of negotiations, ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert reported.

According to Seifert, the Tiger-Cats still have exclusive negotiating rights with Manziel, and the team released a statement in which it didn't eliminate the possibility of signing the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.

"While the discussions with Johnny Manziel and his representative have been very cordial and informative, there is nothing imminent and nothing to report," the Tiger-Cats said. "We will continue to do our due diligence and will have no further public comment on the matter as we move forward."

Manziel's agent, Erik Burkhardt, released a statement January 8 saying Manziel would wait until this Wednesday "to work out a fair deal" with Hamilton. Were the deadline to pass, he and Burkhardt "will turn our focus to several other professional options."

One of those professional options may be pursuing an opportunity to play in the XFL, which is set to return in 2020. Manziel directed a tweet to WWE chairman Vince McMahon when McMahon was announcing his plans for the league:

McMahon had said anybody with a criminal record would be unable to play in the XFL, but ESPN's Darren Rovell reported the league had yet to formally remove Manziel from the possible player pool.

Manziel pleaded guilty to a charge of "failing to properly identify himself to police," which stemmed from an arrest in June 2012.

The 25-year-old hasn't played professionally since his final season with the Cleveland Browns in 2015. He threw for 1,500 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games before the team waived him in March 2016.

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