An improbable return to the NFL for Johnny Manziel may be underway, with one of the most respected coaches in the league taking an interest in him.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, New Orleans Saints' head coach Sean Payton and the former Cleveland Browns' quarterback went to breakfast during Super Bowl week, where they discussed a possible return to football for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.
Manziel's two year stint with the Browns was marred by incidents both on and off the field, and he was eventually released by the team in March 2016. The QB was spotted at a casino prior to the final game of the 2015 season, even though he was listed as "out" with a concussion on the Browns' injury report.
The former first-round pick (22nd overall) out of Texas A&M was subsequently fired by two of his agents, dropped by Nike and was later indicted on misdemeanor assault charges in April stemming from an incident with an ex-girlfriend.
He is currently facing aby the NFL when he returns for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Manziel's domestic violence case involving his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, is also still being reviewed by the league and could potentially lead to an additional suspension.
Rapoport points out the 24-year-old Manziel has kept a low profile while training with a view for a potential return to the NFL, and Payton could be interested.
Recently, Manziel has been trying to make amends for his reckless lifestyle. He re-signed with his former agent andto his girlfriend, Bre Tiesi.
Although Manziel was considered a dual-threat QB out of college, he threw for just 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions over 14 games in two years, also rushing for 259 yards and another TD. He had difficulty making reads at an NFL level, but never seemed dedicated to his craft during his time in the league.
With Drew Brees recently turning 38, Payton could be looking at Manziel as a developmental project, capable of eventually taking over when he retires.
Source: NFL Network · Photo Credit: Images Courtesy of Keystone Press