Report: Johnny Manziel in 'Serious Talks' to Join Fan Controlled Football League

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2020

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel celebrates as he leaves the field after a Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express AAF football game, Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. against the Memphis won in overtime 31-25. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel is reportedly in "serious talks" to sign with the Zappers of the new Fan Controlled Football league, which is set to begin play in February 2021.

TMZ Sports reported Saturday that Manziel, who last played for the AAF's Memphis Express in 2019, is in discussions to join the team co-owned by comedian Bob Menery and New York Mets pitcher Trevor May.

The FCF has an agreement with streaming service Twitch to broadcast its games, and fans will be in control of many aspects, including the in-game play calls.

"You're in the feed with the owners. They have advice, but you vote on the calls," the league's official website reads. "Select the best play and it's relayed right to the QB. Top fans on leaderboard have the most voting power."

The four-team, arena-style league also counts former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, legendary boxer Mike Tyson and rapper Quavo among its other owners, per TMZ.

Manziel was once among the biggest names in football. He won the 2012 Heisman Trophy and went on to get selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Lackluster on-field performance in Cleveland combined with various off-field problems led his NFL career to get cut short after just two seasons, though.

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He's since made stops with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes along with the Express, but his level of play never suggested a return to the NFL was realistic.

Joining the FCF, which should feature a more free-flowing, backyard-football style, could be the perfect fit for his versatile skill set. And his name still attracts plenty of attention, which should help the league generate early buzz on Twitch.