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Someone Take a Shot on Johnny Manziel

Manziel may have not played since the 2015 season, but he's deserved a second chance. — by Instagram: @Jmanziel2
Manziel may have not played since the 2015 season, but he's deserved a second chance. — by Instagram: @Jmanziel2

On Wednesday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that they had signed Robert Griffin III to a one-year $1 million contract to play behind Joe Flacco. Yes, the quarterback who hasn't played since 2016 and has knees made of porcelain is back in the game.

Don't get me wrong, I love RGIII and I'll never forgive Mike Shanahan for ruining his career, but this signing made me wonder when Johnny Manziel will get his second chance.

I was Manziel's biggest critic in 2014. There was no argument that he was one of the most exciting college players of all time, but that's exactly what I thought he was, a “college player.” With his size and skill set, I couldn't see his success translating to the professional level.

Plus, it's not like I had to even mention his issues off the field.

Fast forward to today, and Manziel is doing pretty well.

He has taken part in two NFL Pro Day workouts in the past month and has signed up to play in The Spring League. His contract also includes a clause that would allow him to opt out if he was offered an NFL contract. He's developed a legitimate work ethic over the past couple of years and wants to get back to football.

The Turnaround

ComebackSZN has been his catchphrase as of late, and it has just as much to do with his mental state as his physical one.

Manziel has moved on from his partying days and has spent time working on his attitude and figuring out exactly who he wants to be as a person. He has come to the realization that he blew a big opportunity in the NFL and is doing everything it takes to get back.

The kid who snorted “white substance” in Vegas bathrooms who was also pretty good at tossing the football around is a different person now.

Manziel blamed depression and substance abuse as well as behavioral problems on his NFL failure, and also announced that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

In an interview with Dan Patrick on Wednesday, Manziel surprised everyone by saying that even he wouldn't have taken a shot on himself coming into the NFL:

“If you were to give me a mulligan, I would have taken it right after I got drafted.“

Can you imagine the Manziel of the past making a statement like this? He's become completely self-aware; he's putting the blame on himself.

Sure, it's easy to admit years after the fact that you may have been wrong, but Manziel has even been able to joke about his NFL flop, and that shows a level of maturity to me.

NFL Play

Nobody questions that Manziel has NFL talent. The first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy showed flashes of it during his stint in Cleveland.

He was somewhat of an escape artist and his speed definitely translated to the NFL.

There isn't any revealing statistic that I could bring up that is going to prove to you that Manziel should definitely be in the NFL, but his stats in general prove that he's worth a roster spot.

In nine games in 2015, Manziel completed 57 percent of his passes and threw for seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Sure, those aren't incredible numbers, but if he can do that in a Browns uniform then he can do it anywhere. Just for comparison, Griffin III threw for just two touchdowns and three interceptions the following year for the Browns.

If I was an NFL general manager, I wouldn't be interested in signing the typical subpar backup quarterback who has been around the block a couple times like Tom Savage or Chase Daniel. I also may not want to sign Colin Kaepernick if he wants several million dollars just to be my backup. I want a guy who I can sign for the least amount of money possible who has shown promise and is still young enough for it to be possible that he could be the future of my franchise.

The red flags he raised in the past are nonexistent now, and he deserves a second chance.

Godspeed, Johnny.