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Johnny Manziel should be playing in NFL, June Jones says

Sporting News logo Sporting News 6/21/2018 Bob Hille
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Johnny Manziel has a future in football, but it shouldn't be with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the team's coach, June Jones, says.

"He should be playing in the National Football League, and I believe he will when he gets through with us," Jones told ESPN.com.

Manziel didn't play in Hamilton's CFL regular-season opener as starter Jeremiah Masoli's backup.

Still, Jones sees good things in the former Browns first-round draft pick who washed out of the league in 2016 amid off-the-field problems.

"I've been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,'' Jones said.

Jones said late last month that Manziel had no shot at displacing Masoli as the starter, at least before the Tiger-Cats' June 16 opener, and the coach was right.

Will he be correct in forecasting Manziel's return to the U.S.?

"It'll take two years,'' Jones said, noting that NFL executives and coaches are watchful. "They're waiting to see that he's taken care of his off-the-field problems.''

For now, the veteran coach added, Manziel is on the right track.

"He's humble,'' Jones said. "He's growing up every day. … We have a huge project. We're going to get that done, too.''

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