Former Heisman trophy winning Texas A&M Quarterback and Cleveland Browns first round pick, Johnny Manziel, threw for a dozen teams today during the University of San Diego’s Pro Day. It was the first time “Johnny Football” made an appearance in front of NFL talent evaluators since he was released by the Browns in 2015.
Manziel has cleaned up his act off the field, and is ready to revive his professional football career at the highest level. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Manziel made 38 passing attempts in the light rain looking sharp to all those in attendance and only missed on a pair of attempts. Per Fox Sports College Football Insider Bruce Feldman, the New England Patriots who were in attendance, took Manziel inside for an official weight and the QB is back up to 199 pounds.
For the Patriots, why not take a shot with Manziel? They don’t have a true successor behind Tom Brady right now and Manziel appears to have cleaned his act up and the 25-year-old still has a ton of upside and potential. Jimmy Garoppolo was dealt away, and Josh McDaniels still remains to work with the young QB to get the most out of him. Manziel is hungry to get back in the league and has said he would play for free, while that won’t be the case here, they can still sign the former Heisman winner to a league-minimum deal as he looks to revive his career.
Bill Belichick has the presence and locker room stability to deal with the media circus of brining in Johnny Football, after all he once brought in Tim Tebow after he was released by the Jets. He will do whatever is best for his football team in the present and future, and brining in Manziel may be just that. If he doesn’t like any of the later-round QB’s in this draft class its well worth it to take a flier on Manziel and bring him in to work behind the greatest player to ever play the position and alongside another veteran QB in Brian Hoyer.
Manziel looked good and has checked all the boxes as far as his recovery from off-the-field issues that plagued him in the past. With Josh McDaniels still with the team, the Patriots would be wise to take a flier on Johnny Manziel with the upside and potential he still offers at a critical spot behind soon-to-be 41-year-old Tom Brady.
UPDATE: The Patriots met with Johnny Manziel before and after his workout at Texas A&M on Tuesday in College Station. He looked good throwing the ball to top WR prospect Christian Kirk and the interest appears to be very real from New England. #ComebackSZN is certainly underway.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank