Johnny Manziel says he would welcome XFL opportunity, chance to reunite with June Jones

Free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel told reporters Saturday that he would be interested in reuniting with coach June Jones on Houston's new XFL team.

Jones, the longtime NFL and college coach, most recently served as the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League. Manziel was briefly a backup quarterback with the team last season before being traded to the Montreal Alouettes and was later kicked out of the CFL for violating unspecified conditions of an agreement with the league.

"It would be very cool (to reunite)," Manziel told KRIV-TV at the TRISTAR Collectors' Show in Houston. "Coach Jones is a great guy. Enjoyed him from an offensive standpoint, from a personal standpoint. He's been there for me, especially when I was in Hamilton, getting to a new place, a different country. I enjoyed my time with him very thoroughly, and I think it would be a great opportunity."

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel throws the ball against the Orlando Apollos defense in March. (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)

Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner who went on to become a first-round pick in the NFL draft, is attempting to resuscitate his professional football career after a string of off-field issues led to his departure from the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He has since bounced around multiple professional leagues in North America, most recently the now-defunct Alliance of American Football.

The XFL, which will begin play in 2020, has long been speculated as his next stop. However, Manziel did not attend either of the XFL's invite-only showcases in Texas over the weekend, including Saturday's workout in Houston. When asked by KRIV-TV if he has been in touch with the XFL about possibly joining the league, he demurred.

"I leave a lot of that stuff up to my agent," Manziel, 26, told the station. "We'll just let those things play out, you know? I think I'm in a good place personally. I've been doing the right things. When the opportunity presents itself moving forward, we'll see how things go."

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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