Johnny Manziel Favored to Play in AAF over XFL After Alouettes Release

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2019

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel between drills at his alma mater during Texas A&M's football Pro Day in College Station, Texas, Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

If the Alliance of American Football or XFL is looking for a big-name quarterback, Johnny Manziel is available to play in either league.

Per OddsShark, the AAF is the early odds-on-favorite (-275; bet $275 to win $100) to sign Manziel after he was released by the Canadian Football League on Wednesday.

The Montreal Alouettes said in a statement (h/t NFL Network's Ian Rapoport) that Manziel was being released after violating the terms of his agreement with the CFL that made him eligible to play.

Given all of the baggage Manziel brings with him, any league that brings him in will have to monitor him carefully.

From purely a business perspective, the AAF could use a household name to help sell tickets. The Athletic's David Glenn reported Feb. 18 that Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon purchased a $250 million stake in the league that allowed it to make payroll two weeks into its inaugural season.

While the XFL hasn't announced any player signings leading up to its relaunch in 2020, quarterback contracts will be worth up to $300,000 annually.

Manziel appeared in eight games for the Alouettes last season. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner had five touchdowns and seven interceptions. It was his first time playing in a professional football league since 2015 with the Cleveland Browns.

Two years after drafting Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in 2014, the Browns released Manziel in 2016. He threw for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns in six starts (10 games) during the 2015 season.

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