Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will reportedly soon be "Johnny Football" once again in a new startup league.
Manziel, 28, told ESPN he's agreed to join Fan Controlled Football, which is scheduled to begin play in February. The new league will reportedly have 7-on-7 games in which fans set rosters, call plays and interact in varying other ways.
"The more I heard about what this was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something that was just very fun," Manziel said. "It's going to be very fan-oriented and something I could get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious, the way that my football career has been in the past."
The former first-round draft pick said he connected with FCF co-founder and CEO Sohrob Farudi through a mutual friend, comedian Bob Menery, to discuss joining the league. Manziel hasn't played football since 2019, when he appeared in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football league for the Memphis Express.
The former Texas A&M standout had previously appeared in the Canadian Football League as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Aloutettes, as well as The Spring League, following a disappointing NFL tenure that only lasted two seasons.
Manziel was selected No. 22 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft after a decorated collegiate career. However, multiple off-field incidents coincided with lackluster play and the Browns released the quarterback in 2016.
Manziel had previously told TMZ in September that he was retired from playing football, but wouldn't completely rule out his options when asked if he planned on joining the XFL after it was purchased by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and a team of business partners.
"I think football is a little bit behind me…Football for me is not at the forefront of my mind," Manziel said. "Listen, anything ‘The Rock’ touches is gonna be gold as always."
FCF will begin with four teams, each of which currently have celebrity owners including current NFL stars Richard Sherman, Austin Ekeler and retired legend Marshawn Lynch, as well as Migos rapper Quavo and boxing legend Mike Tyson.
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