Sean Payton confirms meeting with Johnny Manziel, pumps brakes on possible signing
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton confirmed his recent meeting with Johnny Manziel, but he said nothing is imminent with the former Texas A&M quarterback.
Payton confirmed to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio this week that he met with Manziel at the Super Bowl. He said he had breakfast with Manziel because he wanted to get to know the quarterback. However, the meeting was not part of the team’s “evaluation process.”
“So, there’s nothing as a club that we’re doing right now,” Payton said. “It was an informative meeting for me just to know the player.”
Payton said if Manziel makes a team, it will probably be as a “tryout-type of opportunity.” He said Manziel will need to be able to show to an NFL team that any off-the-field trouble is behind him.
“I’m not saying that’s what we’re doing,” Payton said of bringing Manziel in for a tryout, “but I think if it happens, there’s some steps that he’s going to have to take also that — just with the league — to be in a position to play.”
Manziel did not play in 2016 after being cut by the Cleveland Browns last spring. The NFL also suspended him for the first four games of last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The former Heisman winner has said he is sober and wants to return to the NFL.