FA QB Johnny Manziel has kept a low-profile as he trains for a return. #Saints coach Sean Payton appears to have taken an interest in him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2017
This all started with my man Ian “RapSheet” Rapoport’s above tweet and I got one thing to say.
KEEP THAT COMEBACK TRAIN ROLLING. I’m a Johnny Football guy till my last breath. Everything about him is everything I need in my professional athletes. Of course excluding the minor detail that he’s currently technicality not a “professional athlete” since he’s not on an NFL roster, but cmon, he’s Johhny fucking Football. Money Manziel himself.
The last six months or so Johhny has been absolutely killing it. He’s gotten his life as back together as he can. He’s stayed out of trouble and out of the tabloids, at least in a negative way, which is really all that matters to the NFL. Johnny Manziel has completely sobered up, been working out constantly, rehired an agent, made multiple positive appearances, done a number of interviews and has begun repairing all the relationships he negatively impacted in the last couple years. The kid has been on a tear.
With an invite to play in the upcoming Spring Football league, involving a number of former NFL players, looming, Johnny Manziel has begun to draw some interest from NFL teams, of all teams the New Orleans Saints.
Most people’s first thought naturally is “That’s the worst idea ever, recovering party boy in New Orleans year round.” Which I totally get at a first glance, but listen, who cares about Johnny Football if he’s not gonna be a real true Johnny Football.
I absolutely need Manziel in New Orleans. I need the rolled up $20 bill in the bathroom Johnny. The scooby-doo on Halloween Johnny and most importantly the popping champagne while throwing up the Money signs on his 20th birthday Johnny. Those were the great Johnny’s. He won a Heisman trophy as that Johnny. Manziel is already a legendary partier, which is part of what made him great. He just wasn’t backing it up on the football field. If you win, you have a free ticket to do whatever you want, see Rob Gronkowski’s life on a daily basis.
This is what Johnny can be, the Gronk of Quarterbacks. I know Manziel won’t become the best QB in NFL history as Gronk is to TE’s but he can definitely draw some excitement. Pair that with some awesome partying in one of the best party cities on the planet? Yeah, sign me up for that Johnny Manziel for the next decade. It will be pure gold.
Yes, it was important for Manziel to quit that lifestyle for a while until he actually gets a contract. But he won’t be able to sustain it that way and honestly, who really wants him to?
From a football perspective, I also think it’s a perfect fit. Manziel is still young and can easily afford to sit on the bench for a couple of years. Who better to do that behind than Drew Brees. Brees, like Johnny is an undersized QB who dominated in college. Also like Johnny, he struggled when he first got to the NFL. Brees is now one of the most accomplished QB’s in NFL history, arguably top 5 all time. He still has a few years left in the tank. He’s a perfect candidate to teach Manziel everything about being an NFL quarterback.
Ultimately, Johnny Football needs to find the balance between partying and being successful on the field, whether that be as backup next season or a starter someday. Drew Brees and Sean Payton will require that balance, they will keep him in line, just hopefully not completely off “lines.”