Johnny Manziel Signs With Fan Controlled Football League, Makes Return to Pro Football

by Josh Lanier

Johnny Manziel is returning to professional football, but not in a league you’ve likely heard of before. The Heisman Trophy winner announced he’s signed with the Fan Controlled League.

According to TMZ Sports, Manziel will start at quarterback for the Zappers when the league begins its inaugural season on Feb. 13.

“Football has always been a huge part of my life, and the opportunity to join the FCF was too good to pass up,” Manziel says.

“FCF is doing something new and original in sports, a league that is truly all about the fans and letting them call all the shots. I can’t wait to get started — this is going to be fun.”

The Fan Controlled Football League will merge social media with the sports world. Fans will also have a say in creating the rules of the game.

The teams will play a six-week schedule, with games livestreamed on Twitch. The hour-long games are played on a 50-yard field with 10-yard end zones. The players have played in college Division I and II programs, along with the CFL, XFL and Indoor Football League.

Quarterbacks will wear microphones and helmet cameras during the games, as well.

“They’re going to let the people [who] join this league be who they are and have fun with it and be a little bit more free than what football is sometimes,” Manziel told ESPN. “That’s definitely what appealed to me. They don’t want me to change who I am or anything else. They want to come out, put a good product out, and be fun with it.”

Johnny Manziel Hopes to Bounce Back from Controvery

Johnny Manziel has been out of the NFL since 2015. He was drafted by the Browns with the No. 22 pick but never lived up to the hype of Johnny Football that he’d gained while at Texas A&M. He’s since bounced around the Canadian Football League. Last year he played a handful of games for the Alliance of American Football before the league folded in its first season.

His career was scarred by poor play and even worse off-the-field behavior. Manziel went on the YNK podcast recently to accept responsibility for his problems in Cleveland.

“Looking back on it now, I would say I absolutely, 100 percent lost (my teammate’s) respect. Why wouldn’t you? If I was one of them looking back at what I was doing, and your decisions that you make off the field impact if I put food on mine, yeah I’d feel some type of way, a hundred percent,” he said. I would say we wasted a draft pick to go get this guy who doesn’t give a f–k. And that’s my only thing in life that I haven’t been able to look back and, like, fully have closure on. … It’s probably one of the only things that I haven’t looked back on and been able to be like super, super OK with what happened.”

But he’s said recently that he hopes to prove himself again on the field. It appears the Fan Controlled Football league is going to give him that chance.