Johnny Manziel’s CFL Release Leaves One Option, and It Won’t be XFL

Jonny Manziel

Getty Former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel’s football future may have already been decided, assuming he wants to continue his career. After his release from the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouette’s, chatter about the future of Manziel has ramped up a bit. Some fans are hoping to see the former Cleveland Browns quarterback suit up in the XFL while others want him to head to the Alliance of American Football (AAF).

But assuming nothing changes, it seems that Manziel’s path back to the gridiron points to the AAF, and more specifically, the San Antonio Commanders. While Odds Shark revealed the odds on where Manziel could play next, the new league came in as a heavy favorite.

Part of the above odds may have to do with the fact that according to previous comments, Manziel can’t actually play in the XFL. And beyond that, the San Antonio Commanders franchise would be allocated the quarterback’s rights.


Johnny Manziel Not Eligible for XFL?

After the XFL’s return was announced, owner Vince McMahon did a Q&A on YouTube and made it known that he plans to not allow any player with a criminal record to lay in the league, per CBS Sports.

“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are,” McMahon said. “If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime, you aren’t playing in this league.”

Manziel was arrested on three misdemeanor charges in 2012, and the quarterback took to Twitter after hearing this news to sound off about not being allowed in the XFL.

That leaves the AAF as a top option, and after some confusion, it seems Manziel would be allocated to San Antonio if that situation played out.


Johnny Manziel Allocated to AAF’s San Antonio Commanders

As Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports reported, an AAF spokesperson said that Manziel would be sent to the San Antonio Commanders franchise.

Regarding the AAF, there are a few things to consider. First are the technicalities. An Alliance spokesperson told CBS Sports that if Manziel was picked up by the AAF through the allocation formula set up by co-founder Bill Polian, he would be sent to the San Antonio Commanders. Manziel played college football at Texas A&M, where he was a Heisman Trophy winner in 2012. Multiple players on the Commanders’ roster came from A&M.

Popular AAF site No Extra Points was the first to detail the situation and the possible allocation. After some research, they also revealed that he would be heading to San Antonio, as the allocation rules point to a player’s college career before anything else.

The professional phase would have sent Manziel to the Birmingham Iron, as Mark Inabinett of AL.com revealed. Birmingham controls rights to players from 13 state schools as well as South Carolina, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State, Maryland and Missouri. Beyond that, their NFL affiliates include the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills. As previously mentioned, the CFL affiliates include Montreal as well as the Ottawa Redbacks.

READ NEXT: AAF Rosters: Notable Players & NFL Talent in New League

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