LM Otero/Associated Press
Johnny Manziel's arrival in the CFL took a major step forward Sunday, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced they have offered the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner a contract.
"As per the negotiation list process, Johnny Manziel and his agent recently notified the Tiger-Cats that they had activated the 10-day window during which the Tiger-Cats must offer him a contract or lose his negotiation list rights," the team said in a statement. "That window closed today and we can confirm that we made an offer to Manziel, and that his rights will remain on our negotiation list while discussions with he and his agent continue. We will have no further comment."
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said last month he would approve a contract for Manziel to allow him to play in the league. Ambrosie added Manziel would have to undergo "an ongoing assessment by an independent expert on the issue of violence against women, a review by legal counsel, and an in-person interview."
Manziel, 25, has not played organized football since the Browns released him following the 2015 season. He sat out the 2016 and 2017 seasons while dealing with substance abuse and legal issues, but he also did not receive interest from NFL teams. In December 2016, Manziel agreed to a plea agreement regarding allegations of domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend.
Manziel said in July he wants to return to the field.
"That's all I've known for so long," Manziel said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "It's what I love to do. It's hard. It's hard sitting here going through OTA time and going through summer time and then getting ready to go through fall camp and not being a part of it. But at the same time, I'm really optimistic and hopeful that I'll get another chance. That's really what I'm holding out for every day."
The Tiger-Cats made room for Manziel on their roster earlier this month when they traded incumbent starter Zach Collaros.