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Manziel in contention for AAF debut on Sunday

March 19 2019 2:26 AM

Johnny Manziel is in contention to make his gridiron return after signing for the Alliance of American Football's Memphis Express.

The 26-year-old quarterback has been given a chance at redemption following ill-fated spells with the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League and for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

Having signed on Saturday, Manziel practised with his new team-mates on Monday ahead of the upcoming clash with Birmingham Iron.

An opening for Manziel may have emerged following an ankle injury to starter Zach Mettenberger, with head coach Mike Singletary having turned to third-string option Brandon Silvers rather than returning to the dropped Christian Hackenberg.

Following a sparkling high school career, Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M before joining Cleveland in the the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Manziel featured in 14 games, throwing a 7-7 touchdown-interception ratio for a completion percentage of 57.8 during his two seasons in the NFL, but his Browns tenure was ended in March 2016 amid reports of off-field problems after he had breached the league's substance abuse policy.

Attempts to reignite his career in Canada fell flat, and Manziel was released in February 2019 by orders of the league for violating the terms of his CFL contract.

AAF co-founder and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian said in a statement: "We are pleased to welcome 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.

"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."

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