September 14, 2017 6:00 am
Updated: December 29, 2017 2:10 pm

Rick Zamperin: Should the Ticats sign, trade or release Johnny Manziel?

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats must make a decision on Johnny Manziel.

David Richard/AP/File

To sign Johnny Football, or not to sign Johnny Football?

CFL sources say free agent quarterback Johnny Manziel has activated the 10-day window that forces the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to offer him a contract, trade his rights to another CFL team, or release him.

We don’t know when Manziel’s camp activated the 10-day clause but it’s obvious that he wants to get back on the field. And it also shows that the Ticats have all the leverage in this situation.

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READ MORE: Make it two straight wins for the Tiger-Cats

All the team has to do is offer Manziel a contract at the league minimum salary and that 10-day window closes, and activates a one-year countdown to either sign or release him.

So if the former Heisman Trophy winner really wants to play football anytime soon, he’ll accept whatever the Ticats offer him, or face the possibility of not playing for up to another year. Let’s face it, there isn’t an NFL team that has shown interest in the former Cleveland Browns QB.

Manziel worked out for the Cats last month and at the time vice president of football operations Kent Austin said they weren’t interested.

If the Cats want to trade his rights, Toronto, Saskatchewan and Montreal would be natural landing spots. All three teams have aging pivots (Ricky Ray, Kevin Glenn, Darian Durant) who aren’t part of their team’s five-year plan.

READ MORE: CFL fines Riders head coach/GM Jones for meeting with Johnny Manziel’s publicist

Signing Manziel might sell a few more tickets and at the end of the day football franchises are in the business of making money.  But if Hamilton does bring Manziel on board it tells me that the Zach Collaros era in Hamilton is all but over.

It might also say that the Ticats are more interesting in taking your money than treating you to more wins.

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