Johnny Manziel is playing soccer again, but don’t call it a comeback.
The controversial quarterback will play in a new soccer league called Fan Controlled Football. And yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. Fans essentially control every aspect of the league, from selecting players to calling plays. It’s like a mix of fantasy football and Madden franchise mode.
While the league is not filled with household names, one player stands out from the rest: Johnny Manziel.
MORE: Everything you need to know about the fan-controlled soccer league
It is somewhat surprising to see Manziel again playing football. After a brief stint in the Alliance of American Football league, the former Heisman trophy winner seemed to be done with football. The XFL didn’t want to sign him, and Manziel wasn’t interested in playing in the league under The Rock.
“I’m retired, friend”, Manziel told TMZ Sports last year. “Listen, anything The Rock plays will be gold as always. But I think football is a little behind.”
But Manziel came out of “retirement” to play in the fan-controlled soccer league. Why? We’ll get into that below.
Why Johnny Manziel is playing in fan-controlled soccer league
Manziel signed with the league in late December and said he was excited about what they had to offer.
“The more I heard about what it was going to be, the more I felt like it was going to be a lot of fun,” Manziel said. via ESPN. “It’s going to be very fan-oriented and something that I could endorse without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious like my football career has been in the past.”
In short, Manziel likes the fact that this league is soccer-focused without being too much. Basically you can join in and have fun.
“Life gives you the opportunity sometimes to do something that you would still like to do if it were in a different capacity,” Manziel said. “This has a lot of potential to just be a good time and still be focused on football. They are going to let people [who] join this league, be who they are and have fun with it and be a little freer than football is sometimes. That’s definitely what attracted me. They don’t want me to change who I am or anything else. They want to go out there, launch a good product, and have fun with it. “
Will Johnny Manziel return to the NFL?
Even though this is technically a return to soccer, don’t expect Manziel to make an actual comeback based on his playing time in this league.
“This is not my attempt to be a redemption-type comeback tour to go back and play soccer in the future.” Manziel told USA Today Sports. “After playing here, I probably won’t play a soccer ball again for another year. Two. Or maybe even longer than that. This is just an opportunity that presented itself to me to surround a group of good guys who I feel like we make great business connections and I’m going to have a lot of fun doing it. “
In fact, even if Manziel had a stellar outing in this league and an NFL team called him out, he would turn him down.
“Even if I had the opportunity to go back to the NFL, I don’t think I would take it,” he told USA Today. “I don’t think it’s my way. I don’t think it’s what it should be. I think there are a million other avenues and things I can do in life. I have been good as a soccer player in the past. I want to be good at something else in life, and I have tried to be patient and not force things like I did in the past and let life come to me. And I think something will come up in my life and I know I’m going to love the way I loved football at one point. “
What team does Johnny Manziel play for?
Johnny Manziel plays for the Zappers in fan-controlled soccer league.
He is one of the few franchise players tagged in the league, which means he will remain on the same team for the entire season. In this league, teams will get two franchise players (selected by team owners) and fans will get a goalkeeper after the first game. All other players enter a draft pool where they have the opportunity to be selected for a new team on a weekly basis.
How much money does Johnny Manziel make in fan-controlled soccer?
As we explained in our salary story, players in the fan-controlled soccer league earn a weekly minimum of $ 400 to $ 750, plus room and board. The league may be paying Manziel more for his name and the attention he brings to the league, but that’s just speculation. From what we know, Manziel earns as much as everyone else.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.