XFL Shows Little Interest in Former A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Cole Thompson

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Just because a player can shine in college doesn't always mean they'll transition to the NFL. That's been the case for many top-named players, but none more can be found in College Station than former quarterback Johnny Manziel.

As a freshman with the Aggies in 2012, Manziel took control as the face of College Football. Not only did he defeat then-No.1 Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the dual-threat gunslinger set records weekly.

Although no longer considered an NFL-caliber quarterback, Manziel's named has been linked to the XFL since the formation of the league in 2019. For those hoping to see him play for a roster such as the Houston Roughnecks, fans might be waiting for quite some time. According to XFL Commissioner, Manziel is not expected to be on a roster for the inaugural season in 2020.

“I would argue that the players we have are better than those guys, to be honest with you," Luck said in a recent interview with The Tampa Bay Times. "Johnny has his own history, and we have coaches from the CFL (Canadian Football League) who have seen him close up.

"I think the guys we have on our teams are the best 560 that aren’t playing in the National Football League."

Manziel would win the 2012 Heisman Trophy during his freshman season. The Cleveland Browns would select him with 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The former Aggie quarterback would throw for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in two seasons with the team before his release following the 2015 season.

Manziel was in the league's draft pool this fall but wasn't selected by any roster in the XFL. Fellow former standout Trent Richardson also would not be selected despite posting promising results with the Birmingham Iron in the now debunked-AAF.

Richardson led the league with 12 rushing touchdowns, predominately finding success in the red zone. His 366 yards on the ground as fourth-highest in the league. Manziel would join the league as a member of the Memphis Express during midseason.

Manziel's numbers in Memphis wouldn't play into his favor. In two games, he would go 5-of-8 for 62 yards and an interception before being replaced by now Seattle Dragons quarterback Brandon Slivers.

For his career at A&M, Manziel would throw for 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He would also rush for 2,169 yards and score 30 touchdowns.