SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Commanders released a statement on Saturday night explaining the team's decision to waive the rights of former Kerrville Tivy and Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel.
The Memphis Express have already signed the ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback. The release from the Commanders read:
“We have decided not to exercise our rights to sign Johnny Manziel as a San Antonio Commander,” said general manager Daryl Johnston.
“When I took this job as general manager of the Commanders there were foundational experiences from my career as a player and as a broadcaster that I would not deviate from. There were also things that I would have to learn from my experience on the job," Johnston said.
"One of the most important things I have already learned is when there is an opportunity to get better … you get better. The challenge is finding the balance in what I know and what I have learned and finding the best solution to get better as a team. I truly believe that the moves necessary to add Johnny to our roster do not make us better at this time," 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,” Johnston said.
Memphis visits San Antonio for a nationally televised game on April 6.
Johnny Football is heading to Memphis to resume his football career.
Johnny Manziel signed with the Alliance of American Football on Saturday night and will join the Memphis Express.
The quarterback’s rights belonged to San Antonio of the spring league, but that team declined to sign him and Manziel then was free to join any of the other seven clubs.
He was awarded through the AAF’s waiver system to the Express, who have a league-worst 1-5 record.
“We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to 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,” Alliance co-founder Bill Polian said in a statement released by the league. “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.”
Manziel is expected to report to the Express on Sunday.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M had his contract with the CFL terminated this offseason. The Canadian league said he violated his agreement with it, but has offered no specifics.
Manziel was a first-round draft pick by Cleveland in 2014, but quickly fizzled out there with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in 14 games, including eight starts. The Browns released him in March 2016.
He was 2-6 as a starter with the Montreal Alouettes last season, completing 106 of 165 passes (64.2 percent) for 1,290 yards with five TDs and seven interceptions. He also ran for 215 yards on 29 carries as Montreal (5-13) missed the CFL playoffs.
In Memphis, Manziel could get an opportunity to play quickly.
Express quarterback Zach Mettenberger was injured Saturday and unable to return to the team’s 22-9 loss at Salt Lake and his status is uncertain. Mettenberger had replaced Christian Hackenberg as Memphis’ starter, so coach Mike Singletary could look to Manziel to lead his squad.