Johnny Manziel to Join Startup League Fan Controlled Football

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Former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has agreed to resume his playing career in the startup football league Fan Controlled Football, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

Fan Controlled Football is slated to begin play in February. The seven-on-seven league will reportedly allow fans to set rosters and call plays, featuring teams owned by Richard Sherman, Mike Tyson and Marshawn Lynch, among others.

"The more I heard about what this was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something that was just very fun," Manziel told Seifert. "It's going to be very fan-oriented and something I could get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious, the way that my football career has been in the past."

Manziel last played professional football in the Alliance of American Football in March 2019 before the league folded. He also logged a brief stint in the Canadian Football League after a two-year NFL career. Manziel said in June he was unlikely to play professional football again as he enjoys retirement in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"I wake up with a smile on my face way more than I used to in the past, when people would have said that I had everything," Manziel told Seifert. "I'm at a point in my life where I'm 28 years old and I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing moving forward and trying to re-create an identity, and that's what the past year has been about for me."

Fan Controlled Football will hold a six-week season, with games live-streamed on Twitch. League founder Sohrob Farudi said FCF players like Manziel will also connect with fans through a variety of social media platforms. 

Manziel logged eight starts with the Browns in 2014 and 2015, tallying seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was released in 2016 following a misdemeanor assault charge that was later dismissed.