Johnny Manziel to Back Up Jeremiah Masoli for Hamilton's Entire Season

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

FILE - In this April 7, 2018, file photo, former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) prepares for a developmental Spring League football game in Austin, Texas. Manziel is heading to the Canadian Football League, the latest move for the Heisman Trophy winner whose NFL career was a bust with the Cleveland Browns. The quarterback said on Twitter on Saturday, May 19, 2018,  he signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones expects Johnny Manziel to serve as the backup to Jeremiah Masoli for the entire 2018 CFL season.

According to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak, Jones said after Wednesday's practice: "I would say Jeremiah is doing very, very well. Until something creates for me to take him out of there, I would say he'll be our starter for the whole year, hopefully, and win the Grey Cup."

Manziel signed with the Tiger-Cats on Saturday and made a two-year commitment to play for the team.

The 29-year-old Masoli, who played collegiately at Oregon and Ole Miss, has been Hamilton's primary starter in each of the past two seasons.

In 2017, Masoli threw for 3,177 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for 446 yards and four scores.

While Johnny Football is currently viewed as a backup, Ticats wide receiver Jalen Saunders expressed his belief Wednesday that Manziel looks to be in fine form: "He looks like himself out there. He made some great plays, running around and whatnot. He's been throwing. His arm looks live. ... He's older, more mature now. He has the pro experience from the NFL. He has some things he's picking up as we're going, but he looks great out here."

With the exception of the Spring League, the 25-year-old Manziel last played a competitive game of football in 2015.

After Manziel's successful collegiate career at Texas A&M, which included his winning the Heisman Trophy, the Cleveland Browns selected him with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

In two seasons with the Browns, Manziel went 2-6 as a starter and finished with 1,675 passing yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions as well as 259 rushing yards and one score.

Off-field issues led to his release, but Manziel will have a chance to rebuild his value in Canada even if the initial plan is for him to sit and learn behind Masoli.

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