Don’t expect former Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson or Johnny Manziel in XFL

HAMILTON, ON - MAY 28: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats takes part in a preseason practice session at Ron Joyce Stadium on May 28, 2018 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, ON - MAY 28: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats takes part in a preseason practice session at Ron Joyce Stadium on May 28, 2018 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Neither Trent Richardson or Johnny Manziel were drafted in the XFL, so don’t expect to see these former Cleveland Browns in the new league

If you were looking for former Cleveland Browns such as Johnny “Football” Manziel and Trent Richardson to join the new Excruciating Football League (XFL), you may be disappointed to learn that no XFL team has selected either of them at this point. This is still America and anything can happen, but the chances seem to be near zero that either player can continue to have a professional football career.

Richardson had a modestly successful gig with the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of Awful Football. scoring 11 touchdowns in the bankruptcy-shortened season.

However, he seems to have lost his explosion altogether. 2.92 would be a good Earned Run Average for the Cleveland Indians, but for average rushing yards per carry, it is very poor.  At age 29, even XFL teams apparently don’t see him as a potential contributor.

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Johnny Manziel, on the other hand, symbolizes Cleveland futility after allegedly having been drafted in the first round at the urging of owner Jimmy Haslam III and his mysterious advisor, said to be a homeless man he met on the way to the draft.  He drank and drugged his way through two years of Cleveland football, got into a nasty spat with his ex-girlfriend and was in and out of rehab a few times and finally found himself out of a job.

Yet he managed to win two football games as a starter of the Cleveland Browns, a feat which eluded the like of Josh McCown in his two years with the team. When he was sober, Manziel was not terrible on the field as his detractors alleged. But he was not sober at the end.

After being cut by Cleveland, no other NFL team wanted to touch him because of his substance issues as well as alleged violence issue (however, an assault charge was dismissed).

He caught on with the Canadian Football League‘s Hamilton Tiger Cats, but wasn’t able to make first string and was traded after five games to the Montreal Alouettes. His performance was so-so, but he wound up getting banned by the league, allegedly for disobeying the rule that he attends mandatory counseling sessions.

That was a crushing defeat for his fans who were hoping that Manziel might come back. Really, John? Your CFL career was destroyed just because you were too lazy to go to a counseling session?

Manziel then had a cup of coffee for the Memphis Express in the AAF, throwing eight passes in a relief role before getting a concussion. The league folded before he could take the field again.

Still, it’s a little surprising that the publicity-hungry XFL has not been interested in the former signal-caller, despite his Heisman trophy and experience in the NFL, not to mention the media circus that inevitably follows him. Apparently, his poor performance in the CFL and AAF was enough to convince the front offices that he is no longer serious about football.

Today, believe it or not, Manziel is a spokesperson for Direct Auto Insurance, a company that specializes in high-risk drivers (like Manziel). His youtube commercial has over a million views, which testifies to the magic that his name still has.

In the commercial, Manziel is dressed in an almost surreal, garish red suit, which presumably hearkens to his days with the Texas A&M Aggies, whose colors are maroon and white. He seems to be light-years from ever playing again.

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Best wishes to both players as they attempt to get their lives back together. But playing competitive football seems to no longer be possible for either one and a comeback to the NFL is out of the question.