The Canadian Football League officially has cleared the path for former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel to play in the league next season.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is set to approve a contract for Manziel if the former Cleveland Browns quarterback can reach a deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the league said Thursday.
"Since last summer, the Canadian Football League has been engaged in a thorough process to determine the eligibility of Johnny Manziel," the CFL said in a release. "This process has been conducted with the cooperation of Mr. Manziel and independent of the team which currently holds his CFL rights, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"It has included an ongoing assessment by an independent expert on the issue of violence against women, a review by legal counsel, and an in-person interview of Mr. Manziel conducted by the commissioner. As well, Mr. Manziel has been required to meet a number of conditions set by the league.
"As a result of this process, the commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated. The process that led to this decision does, however, continue. Mr. Manziel has been informed he must continue to meet a number of conditions in order to remain eligible. These conditions, while extensive and exacting, remain confidential."
While the CFL has opened the door, it is not immediately known if the Tiger-Cats are willing to let the 25-year-old Manziel walk into the room.
"We appreciate the CFL office and Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's due diligence in this matter," the Tiger-Cats said in a team statement. "We also recognize Johnny Manziel for thus far demonstrating the attributes necessary to continue his career in our great league. We will have no further comment at this time."
A Heisman Trophy winner in 2012 and a first-round selection by Cleveland in 2014, Manziel was cut by the Browns in March 2016 after two seasons of inconsistent play and off-the-field distractions.
Manziel completed 147 of 258 passes for 1,675 yards and seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in 15 games for the Browns in 2014 and 2015.