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What Johnny Manziel’s trade to Montreal says about his NFL future

The view from 30,000 feet is rough: Johnny Manziel couldn’t beat out a CFL quarterback. He couldn’t, in fact, get on the field for a single snap in five games for a 2-3 team. Now he has started over, traded to one of the worst teams in the league with a third of the season already expired.

It’s easy to view the past two weeks as a setback for Manziel and his comeback attempt. Late last year, Hamilton Tiger-Cats coach June Jones predicted Manziel would be one of the best players in CFL history. On July 22, the franchise decided it was better off without him. So what happened in between to merit a trade to the last-place Montreal Alouettes?nike nfl jerseys cheap china

To hear the Tiger-Cats tell it, the decision was sealed by the record-setting play of starter Jeremiah Masoli and an undeniably massive bounty offered by the Alouettes. In an interview, Tiger-Cats general manager Eric Tillman said he also considered the “human element” of giving Manziel a chance to get on the field. And by all accounts, there was no off-field issue involved.4

Are you buying that explanation? Do you really think a team would trade a player it considered a potential future hall of famer for any reason? Or is there reason to fear that Manziel fell far short of the team’s expectations?

In reality, this all makes more sense than it might appear. Manziel hasn’t stumbled. If anything, he has followed the path predicted by those who pay close to attention to the CFL — a league that requires a bigger adjustment for U.S.-born players than many Americans realize. Players in similar positions have described a process of years, not weeks or months, before they were comfortable with the CFL style.

In truth, the trade put Manziel in a better spot to begin showing the skills he hopes one day can carry him back to the NFL. After sitting out his first game with the Alouettes last week, Manziel will start Friday night against — coincidentally — the Tiger-Cats (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“This is a decision we struggled with,” Tillman said. “If something had happened to Jeremiah, I’m very confident that Johnny would have come in and played at a high level. He has been great, on and off the field for us. We had no issues at all with him. I’ve had people calling me and asking me that, and the answer is no, no, no.