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Patriots reportedly finished with Johnny Manziel

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Look, it probably was never going to happen anyway.

Sure, the New England Patriots did sign Tim Tebow once upon a time, but he never made it out of training camp.

So maybe there was a sliver of hope that Bill Belichick would sign Johnny Manziel to be Tom Brady’s backup.

Even with his long list of off-the-field issues, “Johnny Football” won a Heisman Trophy, and at age of 25, it’s reasonable to think he still has some athleticism left.

Manziel revealed earlier this year that he suffers from bipolar disorder and depression, and that fed into his alcohol problems.

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Last week, he was hospitalized for an allergic reaction to his medication.

If he keeps his nose clean, Manziel will probably get another shot at the NFL, but after months of quiet speculation, it certainly doesn’t seem like it will be with New England.

As ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports, the Patriots’ drafting (and subsequent signing) of former LSU quarterback Danny Etling likely ends the team’s pursuit of Manziel.

New England’s depth chart seems pretty clear:

Tom Brady, of course, will be the starter — even at age 41.

Brian Hoyer returned to Foxborough in the middle of last season as Brady’s backup.

Etling, a seventh-round selection who just signed a four-year deal, will be the team’s “developmental” quarterback.

Belichick won’t carry four quarterbacks; it’s worth noting that last season the Patriots went with just Brady and a backup (Jimmy Garoppolo to start the season, then Hoyer).

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If something were to happen to Brady, Hoyer would be a qualified fill-in; he did lead the Texans to the playoffs as a starter two years ago.

It’s hard to imagine how Etling would see the field; New England would likely make a move to get a veteran under center if needed — maybe even Manziel.

In the meantime, Manziel could be heading north, to the Canadian Football League, which issued this statement in December, clearing him to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who own his rights:

“It has included an ongoing assessment by an independent expert on the issue of violence against women, a review by legal counsel, and an in-person interview of Mr. Manziel conducted by the Commissioner. As well, Mr. Manziel has been required to meet a number of conditions set by the league.

“As a result of this process, the Commissioner has now informed Mr. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats he is prepared to approve a contract for Mr. Manziel should one be negotiated.”

We don’t know exactly where, but it seems like a good bet that Johnny Football will be back on a field soon for his “#ComebackSZN.”

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Birthplace
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Honors/Awards
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Education
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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