Johnny Manziel wants a job in the NFL in the worst way. Would the New England Patriots be the perfect fit?
That seems like a hard sell on the surface, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have a long history of talking talented, yet sometimes troublesome, players into falling in line once they become a member of the NFL dynasty.
Nate Burleson, a former NFL wide receiver and current co-host of “Good Morning Football” on the NFL Network, recently suggested the Patriots should add Manziel to its roster as Brady’s backup to groom him as the heir to the future Hall of Fame player’s throne in New England.
“Johnny can go there for a reason that not a lot of people realize,” Burleson said. “He’s not gonna beat out Tom Brady. We all know that. I don’t think there’s any quarterback that could beat out Tom Brady as a free agent coming into the Pats.
“But there is a competition that he would confident going into and that’s the second string position which is Brian Hoyer. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel both played together in Cleveland, so that second string competition will be as tight as ever and will be like a memory for both of them.”
Burleson, who caught grief from his co-hosts for the suggestion, did make this point of clarification on deciding whether Manziel is a good fit for New England.
“The first thing we need to figure out before anyone puts on a Patriots uniform is how much you’re invested intellectually and how much do you love the game emotionally,” Burleson said. “Because we’ve seen guys go there who are halfway in love with the game and halfway in love with the idea of being a Patriot. And it doesn’t really work out.”
Manziel, who is slated to show if he can still play after a two-season layoff during a showcase league in Texas later in March, was questioned about Burleson’s comments in front of TMZ cameras over the weekend.
His response was, well, exactly what you’d want to hear from a guy desperate for a second chance in the league.
“I’ll go to New England in a heartbeat,” Manziel said while snapping his fingers for emphasis. “In a heartbeat.”
Manziel last played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns during the 2015 season. The former first-round pick recently revealed that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and believes he’s now in the right frame of mind for a comeback. The former Heisman Trophy winner is just 25 years old.
You can watch his interview with TMZ, which included questions about former Texas A&M stars Von Miller and Mike Evans, here: