Johnny Manziel shifted teams and betting markets within the Canadian Football League this week.
The former member of the Cleveland Browns went from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Montreal Alouettes via trade on Monday, stirring up the CFL’s Ante Post.
The Alouettes are currently 1-4 and they sit in last place in the CFL’s East Division. Their offense is noted for being particularly futile as they have just 69 points in five games thus far this season. It’s no doubt this fledgling offense that caused Montreal to go out and get a QB that some feel has a future back in the NFL.
Eric Tillman, the General Manager of the Tiger-Cats, is one such person. But Tillman stated that Manziel’s off-field behaviour was a problem for the Hamilton organization.
“The concern has never been talent. It’s been off-field things,” Tillman claimed.
“If he handles himself off the field, I don’t think there’s any question he can play in the NFL.”
Manziel, at the age of 25, is noted for attracting some drama. His time with the Cleveland Browns included allegations of partying at inappropriate times. Furthermore, when he suffered a concussion he did not follow the proper protocols for recovery.
Before trading for Manziel, the Alouettes were at the long odds of +2500 to win the CFL’s Grey Cup. They remain last in betting on Tuesday morning in Canada, but have been shortened to +1800.
When assessing those odds, it’s important to note that the CFL has just nine teams and a large percentage of them qualify for the post-season (66.7%). This is unlike the NFL where less than 50% of teams make the playoffs.
That could be relevant because a 1-4 record isn’t a disaster in the CFL, which features 18-game regular seasons. The Alouettes would have a fair chance to make the playoffs even with a 7-11 regular-season record.
It’s also important to note that NFL-calibre quarterbacks have done major damage in the CFL before. As a proving ground to get back to the ‘big leagues’ Manziel might be very motivated at this point and his presence on Montreal’s lineup can’t be ignored. The last favourites may just have the best quarterback and it could be that everything that has gone wrong for Manziel in recent years might be a wake-up call.