Johnny Manziel, whose attempts to jump-start his fading football career have fizzled the past couple of years, is eyeing his fourth professional league, the XFL.
The Houston Chronicle reported Saturday that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said he’d like to play for one of the two XFL teams in Texas, either in Dallas or Houston. The XFL’s reboot will debut in February 2020.
Manziel, who is still just 26, would like to be a part of that launch.
“The biggest draw for me is having two XFL teams in Texas,” Manziel told the Chronicle while at the TRISTAR sports collectibles show at NRG Arena on Saturday. “I’m still young and in good shape. I’m looking at all opportunities to play.”
The Houston team holds particular interest for Manziel, given its proximity to his old Texas A&M roots.
“It’s a stone’s throw from College Station,” Manziel said. “A lot of Aggies drove from Houston to College Station. Houston’s a great city that’ll always be near and dear to me.”
The Houston franchise also boasts a familiar face for Manziel. Head coach June Jones coached the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats last season when Manziel joined the club. The two got along well, although Jones already had an entrenched starter at QB, so he traded Manziel to Montreal. Manziel was released in February after CFL officials ruled he had “contravened” terms of his contract.
Manziel caught on with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football in mid-March, but the league suspended operations a couple of weeks later.
“I enjoyed every single day I had with Coach Jones. Being in his offense was the best part of each day, Manziel told the Chronicle.
Selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel’s hard-living lifestyle and off-the-field issues led the team to release him in March 2016.