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Memphis Gets Manziel: Heisman QB Joins Alliance

March 17, 2019 - Alliance of American Football (AAF) - Memphis Express News Release

Memphis is making a big splash at quarterback by signing former Heisman Trophy winner and Cleveland Browns signal-caller Johnny Manziel.

The team and the league confirmed the signing of Manziel on Saturday night.

"We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to the Alliance of American Football, which we've always described as a league of opportunity for talented players to launch or revitalize their pro football careers," said Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football for The Alliance. "We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance. The San Antonio Commanders have released his college allocation rights, and the Memphis Express have claimed him. He will report to Memphis tomorrow, where we all believe he'll benefit from the coaching and mentorship of Mike Singletary."

Commanders' GM Daryl Johnston on Johnny Manziel.

"I'd say in light of our present situation, Johnny Manziel is going to be an option for us like anybody else would be," Express general manager Will Lewis said. "Obviously in light of our situation with our present quarterback, an injury related issue, we decided we'd look at all options."

On the first play from scrimmage for the Express offense Saturday against Salt Lake, Mettenberger was sacked by Stallions defensive end Karter Schult and his left ankle got caught underneath the body of Schult. Quarterback Brandon Silvers came in to replace Mettenberger and the Troy product went 23-for-37 passing for 242 yards with one touchdown and one fumble. Salt Lake defeated Memphis, 22-9.

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.

He was last with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

"I've always viewed him as a viable option, so we'll look into that situation and see how that works out for us," Lewis said.

While announcing that San Antonio had waived its rights to Manziel, Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston said, "I wish Johnny all the best with the Alliance of American Football and we look forward to competing against him in the future."

That first competition could come in Week 9 when the Express play at San Antonio on Saturday, April 6 at 12 noon ET. That game was added to the CBS telecast schedule earlier this week. The other three games remaining on the Express schedule are all at home, beginning next Sunday against the Birmingham Iron (8 p.m. ET on NFL Network).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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