June 8 (UPI) — Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel wants a chance to play under former head coach June Jones on the XFL’s new Houston franchise.
Manziel, 26, briefly played for Jones’ Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League last year. The former first-round pick was later traded to the Montreal Alouettes.
“I enjoyed him from an offensive standpoint, from a personal standpoint,” Manziel told reporters Saturday. “He’s been there for me, especially when I was in Hamilton, getting to a new place, a different country.”
The Canadian Football League terminated Manziel’s contract with the Alouettes after eight games, saying Manziel violated an undisclosed agreement that was a condition of him being eligible to play in the league.
Manziel last played for the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express earlier this year. That league folded in April.
Manziel also said he’d consider playing for the league’s Dallas franchise. The XFL has not announced any of league’s eight team names.
Manziel cited Houston’s proximity to Texas A&M. Manziel won the Heisman Trophy for the Aggies in 2012.
“A lot of Aggies drove from Houston to College Station,” Manziel said. “Houston’s a great city that’ll always be near and dear to me.”
Manziel threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with the Browns from 2014 to 2015. He was out of football in 2016 and 2017.
Manziel could face eligibility issues with the XFL, which has a policy excluding players with a criminal record from joining the league. Manziel faced a domestic violence charge after he was accused of hitting his ex-girlfriend in January 2016. The charges were dismissed in November 2017.