Johnny Manziel has talked to several teams about comeback

By Alex Butler  |  July 16, 2017 at 1:50 PM
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July 16 (UPI) -- Free agent quarterback Johnny Manziel is "hopeful" about an NFL comeback and has talked to several NFL teams about getting another shot.

Manziel, 24, met with the New Orleans Saints in February and had breakfast with coach Sean Payton.

A Saints source later told Bleacher Report that the team has "no interest" in signing the quarterback.

Manziel told the Dallas Morning News this week that he has had "a couple conversations with some teams." The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said he, and the teams, are "taking it slow."

"I know the year I took off and obviously the mistakes that I made. Right now, I'm hopeful. I'm really hopeful," Manziel said.

Manziel hasn't played in an NFL game since 2015. The No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has dealt with multiple legal issues and was banned from the league for violating its substance abuse policy.

"I think that I made some progress in that regard [past mistakes]," Manziel said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "But we'll see. Whenever I get a call, I'll do whatever I can to make the most of it."

Manziel has also been through several agents since his last NFL appearance, including Super-Agent Drew Rosenhaus. He rehired agent Erik Burkhardt earlier this year. reported that the quarterback drew "interest from several teams," at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Cleveland Browns cut Manziel in March. In December he reacted a plea deal on a domestic violence charge.

After his exit from the NFL, Manziel was seen partying several times with celebrities in Las Vegas and other places around the country. But he also participated in rehab and was engaged to girlfriend Bre Tiesi in March. In May, he posted a photo of himself at a workout with New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. He also posted pictures with Beckham in April and March.

While Manziel says he "misses" the game, it's unknown how much the game misses the free agent. One of the most intriguing storylines to follow will be to see if it is Manziel or Colin Kaepernick who receivers their next shot with an NFL franchise.

Kaepernick, 29, has a 28-30 record as a starting quarterback and an 88.9 career quarterback rating. He has also never been arrested. Manziel owns a 2-6 career record as a starter, throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, while posting a 74.4 quarterback rating.

Manziel's former teammate, Joe Thomas, explained why Kaepernick remained unsigned in a March Twitter post.

"Teams don't currently view him as a starting QB, and NFL teams accept ZERO distractions from their backup QBs," Thomas wrote.

Thomas, a six-time All-Pro, also commented on Manziel in April in an interview with Graham Bensinger.

"I love Johnny, he's a great person, he's friendly, he's a lot of fun," Thomas said. "And I think that's probably a big part of his struggles in the NFL is he has so many friends, he has so many people that want to be with him and want to hang out with him and that detracts from his focus on being a quarterback. And to be an NFL quarterback you have to be so obsessed and committed to the game that you almost have no time in your life for a little bit of family and the rest of it is being a quarterback. That's a commitment that few people are willing to make..."

In June, 49ers general manager John Lynch said Kaepernick needs to inform teams that he wants to keeping playing the sport. Kaepernick met with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Kaepernick posted quarterback ratings of 101.9 and 122.3 in his last two starts. He had a quarterback rating of at least 94 in six of his 11 starts last season for the Niners. Manziel had a rating that high twice in his last full season. He had ratings of 40.6 and 69.9 in his last two starts for the Browns.

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