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Johnny Manziel Arrives in Memphis

March 18, 2019 - Alliance of American Football (AAF) - Memphis Express News Release

MEMPHIS - Former Heisman Trophy winner and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel landed in Memphis late Sunday night and reported for Express practice Monday morning.

Manziel passed his physical early Monday morning and participated in practice for the first time in The Alliance of American Football.

The Memphis Express return home this Sunday, March 24, to face the Birmingham Iron. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) and will be broadcast on NFL Network. Get tickets here.

The walkthrough only lasted an hour as Manziel spent time meeting his new teammates, coaches and did some light, routine quarterback drills.

Manziel met with Express head coach Mike Singletary after practice, completing the introduction with his new team.

"We're a league of opportunity, so we're looking for players in need of opportunity and giving them a path back to the NFL," The Alliance co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol said on ESPN's Outside The Lines Monday. "Johnny is the epitome of a generational player who has had his struggles, both personal on and off the field. We think there's an opportunity in a league like ours with the type of leadership like a Mike Singletary, as will be his coach in Memphis, to really give him an opportunity to play.

Manziel spent time in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Montreal Alouettes in 2018 and is ready for the opportunity to play professional football back in the United States.

"I'm just excited to get back to playing American football again," Manziel said after practice. "I'm excited to get back to the basics of football. I've been working out constantly, playing some golf in my spare time and living the offseason life. I'm excited to be around the guys and to get back on the field."

"We did a great deal of due diligence on Johnny coming out of the CFL," Ebersol said. "We felt very comfortable that it was a decision that would be in the best interest of both him and our league."

Manziel started two years in college at Texas A&M, winning the Heisman Trophy his freshman year with 5,116 total yards and 47 total touchdowns. Manziel threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns. Manziel won the Heisman Trophy that year over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. Manziel became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.

During his sophomore season for the Aggies, Manziel passed for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns. Manziel also rushed for 759 yards and nine touchdowns.

Manziel declared for the 2014 NFL Draft and was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick. In two years with the Browns, Manziel started eight games and passed for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.


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