It is time to open your heart to Johnny Manziel, eh. The last few weeks has led to some negative public opinion about Johnny up in Canada, which we think is short-sighted. Canadian Football League (CFL) fans were upset at Johnny for trying to negotiate a better contract for himself.
The basic situation is that:
1. At the end of December, the CFL approved Johnny Manziel to play in the league next year.
2. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (TiCats) owned the rights to Manziel by claiming them previously.
3. In the beginning of January, Johnny exercised his right (under CFL rules) to force the TiCats to offer him a contract within 10 days or lose their rights to Johnny.
4. The TiCats offered Johhny a contract within that 10-day window.
5. Johnny's agent, Erik Burkhardt, gave the TiCats until January 31st to give Johnny a "fair deal" or the QB would be moving on. According to Burkhardt, this meant a deal "on part with what Hamilton has paid their QB in recent years, despite not having much on-field success". The quarterback Burkhardt is referring to is Zach Collaros, who signed a 3-year $1.5 million deal with the TiCats (not including available bonuses). Collaros went on to have a rough time with the TiCats and was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders this year.
6. CFL fans proceeded to get pissed off that Johnny was demanding more money. Rumors are that the TiCats seriously lowballed Manziel and offered close to the league minimum salary of $50k. For a nice sample of these comments from CFL fan sites, please see below:
"If this is real and Manziel wants big money, he's a bigger idiot than most think of him."
"Hope he isn't signed by anybody, in fact, I hope Kaep comes up here instead. Johnny is a scrub."
7. Public opinion on Manziel has subsequently shifted such that he probably has a lower approval rating in Canada than Trump has in Mexico.
Now let's look at the facts. Nobody in the USA really watches the CFL, and the only reason anybody is going to be watching the CFL next year is because of Johnny Manziel. Can we really fault a guy for wanting to get his fair market value? CFL fans have been attacking Johnny like he is the biggest jerk to ever grace planet earth for asking to be paid more than 50k next year, when he is without a doubt the biggest name to ever play in the CFL. Furthermore, when you compare Manziel to Collaros, it isn't even close. You are talking about the Heisman winner who defeated Alabama in SEC play versus a middle of the road QB from Cincinnati. Take a look at the stat-lines:
Beyond performance, CFL fans should be happy about the exposure the league is going to receive and shouldn't fault a guy for wanting to get his fair market value. #comebackSZN