The last time we heard from Johnny Manziel in a serious football sense — and not just for “distracting” Odell Beckham — was when NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in March the Saints were potentially interested in the former first-round pick.
Since then, it’s been more of the same — a random appearance via Instagram at a remote offseason workout, a plea for another chance, wash, rinse, repeat.
However, former Manziel teammate and current Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin thinks the comeback attempt has some legs. Benjamin caught a handful of touchdown passes from Manziel while the two played in Cleveland.
“I saw Johnny about a month ago through this PT guy we go to in San Diego and he’s looking good,” Benjamin told NFL Network host Andrew Siciliano on Up To The Minute on Thursday. “He says he’s ready to come back and hopefully he’ll get a shot at a team and he’ll go in, continue to humble himself and play smart and play good.”
When asked to make his pitch for Manziel, Benjamin said the freewheeling quarterback, who bottomed out of the NFL after just eight starts, is a more determined man now.
“You gonna have a guy that’s going to come in ready to prove himself,” Benjamin said. “Ready to get his second chance at what he does best and hopefully it’ll be a good outcome.”
There is still a long road ahead for Manziel — a path made far more difficult now that almost every team is settled at the quarterback position for the year (and even if they aren’t, a stable of more-than-qualified fill-ins like Colin Kaepernick and even Fox broadcaster Jay Cutler wait for an opportunity).
In a way, comments like these from Benjamin are sad given how much potential Manziel had and how quickly it fizzled out. We’ve now spent more time hearing about his football contrition than we have about him as an actual player.