Johnny Manziel signs to play for the AAF's Memphis Express



March 17 (UPI) — Former Cleveland Browns first-round pick quarterback Johnny Manziel is back playing professional football, this time in Tennessee.

The 22nd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft has signed a contract with the Memphis Express of the newly formed Alliance of American Football, after the San Antonio Commanders gave up his rights.

The Express said Manziel will report to the team Sunday. He could be the fourth quarterback to take a snap already for Memphis this season.

Memphis is 1-5 after losing to Salt Lake 22-9 on Saturday. Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger and Brandon Silvers have all played quarterback already this season for the Express.

League co-founder Bill Polian said in a statement Saturday night that he thinks the AAF will give a good opportunity for Manziel to resurrect his football career.

“We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to Alliance of American Football, which we’ve always described as a league of opportunity for talented players to launch or revitalize their pro football careers,” Polian said in a statement Saturday.

“We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance.”

Manziel previously played in the Canadian Football League, but last month was released by the Montreal Alouettes due to violations of “the agreement which made him eligible to play.”

No other specifics about Manziel’s release were provided by the franchise.

He will get a shot to play now in the AAF, under NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, who serves as the Express head coach.

Memphis claimed Manziel after San Antonio, who controlled his playing rights because he played college football at nearby Texas A&M, opted not to sign him.

Manziel played two seasons in the NFL before the Browns released him. He started eight games for Cleveland in 2016 and went 2-6 as their starter. Off the field, he was accused of hitting and threatening his ex-girlfriend.



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