Johnny’s Journey Part 2: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Earlier this month we found out that Johnny Manziel had signed a 2 year contact with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Our first part of this series dealt with Manziel’s past and route that has led to his comeback attempt via the CFL, this part will deal with the team who have taken a chance on him. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


Based in Hamilton, Ontario the team was founded in 1950 by a merger between the Hamilton Tigers and Wildcats. The Tiger-Cats now compete in the East Division.

Since the merger the Tiger-Cats have won 8 Grey Cups (the Canadian Super Bowl equivalent). Their last victory in 1998.

The team is coached by June Jones, a former QB who has experience coaching in the NFL with the Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and San Diego Chargers.

Recent Years

Last year wasn’t a great season for the Tiger-Cats finishing 6-12 but in the last 5 seasons they have made the post-season 4 times, including two Grey Cup visits, both ending in defeat.

They are definitely a side capable of making the post-season again in 2018.

QB Situation

Johnny Manziel will be competing with three other QBs for the starters role, and it’s not a given. The competition includes Vernon Adams, Dane Evans, and Jeremiah Masoli. All three went undrafted in the NFL but spent stints with NFL teams before being waived.

While all the QBs will want to compete for the starters role but the man to beat is Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli has spent 5 seasons with Hamilton and started 10 games last season. His numbers have been good, not spectacular but solid, and coach June Jones has stated Manziel has a lot of work to do in order to oust him.

But let’s get real. Hamilton wouldn’t have signed Manziel if they didn’t envisage him as a starter, now it’s up to him to get to speed with not only playing football again but also the differences in the CFL rules, something we will cover in another article. However some argue that the style of football may actually suit Manziel more, an extra man on offence, ability for WR to get a running start when the ball is snapped, quick drives due to only having 3 downs, and the general high scoring aspect to the game.

Either way Manziel has a real chance of becoming the starter to a side that could compete, which would do wonders for his turnaround.