Johnny Manziel has options.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and failed NFL quarterback has been out of football for a while now. Manziel hasn’t been signed since the Cleveland Browns cut him in March 2016, and as he recently told the crowd at the International Football Betting Conference in Costa Rica, “It’s not fun to sit around on a Saturday and Sunday after you’ve been playing those days for the past six years of your life.”
So if he continues to get the cold shoulder from NFL teams, what then?
“I’d do something involved with sports. I can’t get away from it,” Manziel, 24, said. “I’ve had to ask myself that a little bit as of late over the past year, but at the same time I’d want to be involved in sports in some way, whether it’s coaching, whether it’s doing something like that. So I think that’d be my route.”
Manziel was then asked at which level he’d like to coach. “Probably college,” he said.
Ah yes, college, where Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Football became a national phenomenon in 2012. Back then, he was a redshirt freshman who led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory to finish fifth in the AP poll.
That year, Manziel completed 68% of his passes for 3,706 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions and added 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground to become the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
But he and the team couldn’t keep up the momentum the following year. They went 9-4 on their way to a Chick-fil-A Bowl victory and an 18th-place finish in the AP poll. And while Manziel’s passing stats improved — he completed 69% of his passes for 4,114 yards with 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions — his rushing numbers dropped to 759 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished fifth in Heisman voting that year, then went pro.
“I look back right now and think about how big of just a kid I was. And a lot of regrets I have, especially with my second year in college, not treating it kind of the way [I did] my first year,” Manziel said at the conference.
Another option Manziel said he’s considered as a way of staying in the game is playing in the Canadian Football League.
“It’s definitely something I’ve looked into,” he said. “If I wouldn’t have had as much interest as I’ve had this year [as far as] talking with some [NFL] teams and seeing how things have played out, I probably would have taken that route.”