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Johnny Manziel watches a lot, throws a little at CFL camp

Sun May 20 5:33pm ET

The newest addition to the Canadian Football League Hamilton Tiger-Cats roster, quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) works during Tiger Cats training camp in Hamilton, Ontario on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Heisman Trophy winner Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday, looking to salvage his football career after a turbulent and unsuccessful stay with the Cleveland Browns. (Peter Power/The Canadian Press via AP)


HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) Johnny Manziel spent much of the first day of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' training camp as an observer.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner watched a lot of the session Sunday, a day after signing with the Canadian Football league club. Manziel threw while working with the five other quarterbacks and did short tosses to receivers, but knelt off to the side or stood with quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison during 1-on-1 pass drills and 7-on-7 sessions at Ron Joyce Stadium.

''That's because he doesn't know the terminology, he doesn't know anything,'' Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said. ''Dan was walking through each route as it was called. But (on Monday) guess what? We're going to walk in and start taking a couple.''

Manziel has plenty to learn about Canadian football. Standing on the field for the first time only served to further drive that point home.

''Spacing is a little bit different on the defensive side if I had to look at anything,'' Manziel said. ''On offense, I've never ran this many routes that are predicated off of one defender ... every route has an opportunity to break three or four different ways, which is different.

''But I think it gives you the versatility and offensive weapons to be able to attack coverages more intensely than it would just running a fixed route. I know it's going to take some time but now I see it more-so and my expectations are tempered.''

Hamilton's other quarterbacks include starter Jeremiah Masoli, CFL veterans Vernon Adams Jr., and Bryant Moniz along with youngsters Dane Evans and Chris Merchant of the Vanier Cup-champion Western Mustangs.

Jones said the Ticats aren't waiting for Johnny Football to become familiar with their offensive terminology and schemes.

''He's got to catch up because we've got guys in there and he will,'' Jones said. ''We have plenty of time in camp. I'd say in 2 1/2 weeks he'll have a handle on everything.''

The 25-year-old former Texas A&M star was selected in the first round - No. 22 overall - by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL draft. He was released in March 2016 after posting a 2-6 record over two tumultuous campaigns.

Manziel actively pursued an NFL contract this offseason, throwing during pro days at both Texas A&M and the University of San Diego, and participating in The Spring League - a development circuit for players overlooked by the NFL.

He has dealt with several off-field issues. In 2016, a domestic assault charge against Manziel in Dallas was dismissed after he took an anger management course and participated in the NFL's substance-abuse program. In a recent interview, he said he's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has stopped drinking.

The CFL approved the signing, saying that in December it began the process to determine if Manziel could join the league. Manziel had to meet certain conditions, including an assessment by an independent expert on domestic violence, a review by legal counsel and a discussion with Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

''I've been very upfront with my past and the fact that I haven't been perfect by any means,'' Manziel said. ''Obviously, the magnitude of my mistakes in the past are something I'm definitely not proud of but at the end of the day I feel like I've come a long way from that person that I was at that time.

''I feel I've grown a lot and feel through the mistakes I've made they've turned me into a better person, they've turned me into a man. I'll never be able to outrun my past . . . the only thing I can do is grow and hopefully be a better person moving forward and I have every intention of doing that.''

Player Notes
Andrew Luck May 20 1:40am ET

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard told a crowded room at a local fundraiser that quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) is the "strongest [he has] seen him, both mentally and physically." While Ballard didn't hint at when Luck would return to throwing the football, it seems as if the recovery process is coming along nicely for the former fantasy stud. Pending news of the quarterback throwing passes, fantasy owners should be cautious when valuing him in 2018 fantasy drafts.

Terrance Williams May 20 12:50am ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams was arrested on Saturday morning for public intoxication and leaving the scene of an accident. Williams reportedly crashed his Lamborghini into a light post and fled the scene of the accident around 3 AM in Frisco, Texas. He was arrested a few hours later when police found him riding an electric bicycle near his home. He was released on a $369 bond, both charges are misdemeanors. Williams likely won't face any discipline from the NFL, but you never know with Roger Goodell.

Martavis Bryant May 19 8:10am ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to re-sign wide receiver Eli Rogers once he is fully healthy. Rogers tore his ACL during the playoffs this past season and was released by the team in the offseason. The Steelers have a crowded wide receiver room but they will be looking to replace No. 3 wideout, Martavis Bryant, who was traded to the Oakland Raiders in April. Rogers has appeared in 27 games for the Steelers over his career, catching 66 passes.

Vincent Jackson May 18 11:40pm ET

Free-agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson is "very happily retired," according to one of his representatives. He will finish his career with 9,080 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns with the Chargers and Buccaneers. V-Jax finished with just 15 catches for 173 yards and no touchdowns in five games in 2016 with Tampa, but he posted six 1,000-yard seasons in his career, with three of them coming in San Diego and three with the Bucs.

Jordan Leggett May 18 11:20pm ET

New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett, the fifth-rounder in 2017 that missed all of last season due to a knee injury, figures to have the leg up on the starting tight end gig in 2018, although he'll be competing with Chris Herndon and Clive Walford. Herndon was drafted in the fourth round last month. Herndon is also coming off a torn MCL and will probably be limited in offseason workouts. Leggett has upside, but he has yet to play an NFL snap and will have to prove himself first before fantasy owners take notice.

Julio Jones May 18 11:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is not expected to attend organized team activities next week, according to sources. Jones is seeking an update to his contract, and it sounds like the team is willing to consider it. It seems as though the 29-year-old is always dinged up, but he continues to produce nonetheless and has posted four straight 1,000-yard seasons for the Falcons. Despite being an injury risk, Jones remains an elite fantasy wideout.

Odell Beckham Jr. May 18 4:10pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) will attend the team's voluntary organized team activities, according to a source. The Giants will start Phase 3 of their offseason conditioning program Monday, May 21, and Beckham will attend despite having not worked out a contract extension with the team. We doubt that OBJ will be a full go in OTAs, but it's a great sign that he's healing properly after a season-ending ankle injury early in 2017. With Beckham set to be fully healthy for the 2018 season, he'll once again be an elite fantasy wideout.

Theo Riddick May 18 3:50pm ET

The Detroit Lions are expected to use the dreaded running back by committee approach in 2018. Rookie Kerryon Johnson and veteran Legarrette Blount will be the primary ball carriers, with Theo Riddick serving as the pass-catching back. This doesn't leave any room for Ameer Abdullah, who could be on his way out. This makes the fantasy situation in Detroit a tough one. Johnson and Blount are both worth owning in deeper formats, but shouldn't have too high of a price on draft day. Target Riddick late in PPR leagues, but otherwise this is an uninspiring group.

Arik Armstead May 18 9:53am ET

San Francisco 49ers DE Arik Armstead (foot) recently had a minor cleanup procedure on his foot, but he'll be fine for most, if not all, of the spring workouts.

Kolby Listenbee May 18 8:43am ET

Indianapolis Colts WR Kolby Listenbee was released Friday, May 18.

Demarcus Robinson May 17 11:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson's rapport with QB Patrick Mahomes and the presence of WR Tyreek Hill and WR Sammy Watkins on the outside should allow him to exploit defenses underneath this season, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.

Chris Thompson May 17 10:53pm ET

Washington Redskins RB Derrius Guice will likely be the starter according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, but Rosenthal said it 'wouldn't be a surprise' if RB Chris Thompson ended up playing more snaps this year.

Roger Lewis May 17 10:43pm ET

New York Giants WR Roger Lewis could emerge as the No. 3 receiver this year ahead of WR Cody Latimer, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.

Taco Charlton May 17 10:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is hoping DE Taco Charlton will step up and win the starting defensive end job in 2018.

Jaylon Smith May 17 10:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith will likely become a part-time player on the strong side in 2018 after LB Leighton Vander Esch was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.

Danny Amendola May 17 10:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Danny Amendola's work ethic has been impressing the coaching staff and rubbing off on the locker room, according to head coach Adam Gase. 'Any time you can get a guy who can not only produce for you but can be a great example for other guys in your locker room, he's making other guys better,' Gase said. 'He makes 24 other offensive guys better if they watch him work.'

Myles Jack May 17 10:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Myles Jack will move to middle linebacker on every down in 2018.

Eric Ebron May 17 10:13pm ET

Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron could be the 'de facto third receiver' this year, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.

Alex Collins May 17 10:03pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens' decision not to select a running back in the 2018 NFL Draft is a sign that they are comfortable with RB Alex Collins as their starter, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.

Lamar Miller May 17 10:03pm ET

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller will likely keep his roster spot and open the year as the starter because RB D'Onta Foreman (Achilles') is still recovering, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.