For those of us keeping our eye on Johnny Manziel and his comeback attempt in Canada it has been odd at times. Tiger-Cats built up his ceiling in the league, discussing his potential to be one of the best of all time, despite Jeremiah Masoli keeping him away from the field. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Hamilton (2-4) traded Manziel to Montreal Alouettes (1-5). Hamilton praised Johnny for his work on and off the field, and said it was a trade that benefited all involved, with Manziel moving to a location where he was more likely to start. The question however is, was this Hamilton’s plan all along? Sign Manziel, sell shirts and seats before trading him off, knowing the leap for him wouldn’t go as easily as some expected?
We may get an answer to this when Manziel makes his first CFL start on Saturday 1:30am (CET) or Friday 7:30pm (ET). What makes Manziel’s debut so much more interesting is that it’s against the Tiger-Cats, straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster. It’s really hard to determine what way the debut will go. There are pros and cons from Manziel’s side. Working with Hamilton he’s more aware and knowledgeable about their play-calling than any other CFL team, however they also are more aware of his ability and weaknesses than any other team he would face. This could turn out to be a very difficult entry into the CFL, but the dreamer in me hope he succeeds.
As for the Alouettes, any chance of a playoff berth seems unlikely. They currently stand 1-5 with 12 games left in the season. Last season they only managed a record of 3-15. Expectations are very low, especially after the rocky start. Realistically the Alouettes would need to finish the season on a streak of 8-4. That I’m sure is beyond any expectations for Manziel’s comeback, but if he managed to oversee that turnaround the NFL would no doubt come knocking next season.
I think it’s too much of an ask, but we will wait and see. For now our eyes turn to his debut.