CFL Futures: How Collaros and Manziel News Affects the League
Zach Collaros and Johnny Manziel Shake-Up The CFL
In the span of just two seasons, Collaros went from a Most Outstanding Player (MOP) candidate and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' franchise quarterback to trade bait.
Collaros is coming off his worst season in 2017 completing just 62.8 per cent of his passes for 1,767 yards and an 81.1 QB Rating in 8 games, which the Ticats all lost. He was benched in favour of Jeremiah Masoli as the Tiger-Cats then went to win six of the remaining 10 games.
Since then, Collaros's days in Steeltown were numbered and just three days into 2018, the two parted ways. Collaros was traded to the Roughriders for a second-round pick (10th overall). With his move, the Tiger-Cats continued to pursue Johnny Manziel. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the league will honour its contract agreement between the Ticats and the former college football star should the two come to terms on a deal.
It appears that Johnny Football will be coming north of the border.
Manziel Experiment Could Be a Colossal Bust
In his last season with the NFL in 2015, Manziel completed 57.8 per cent of his passes for 1,500 yards in six starts in ten games. He had a passer rating of 79.4 and threw seven touchdowns to five interceptions. Most notably, he was the last Browns quarterback to win more than one game for the Browns since his departure. The Tiger-Cats and Manziel already had a meeting back in the summer of 2017 but the Ticats elected to not sign him.
The team now has until the end of January to offer Manziel a "fair deal" and his agent is reportedly asking for something similar to what Collaros made (around $500,000).
Just a week ago, Manziel quickly sold out his new Comeback$ZN clothing line strongly hinting he's ready to play for the CFL. While no official word has been given on Manziel's status with the league, it's worth noting that Manziel's showmanship dwarfs his actual football abilities. Manziel hasn't played a single down since 2015 never mind the three-down version of the game.
If the CFL and Tiger-Cats pursue Manziel, it's obvious that it goes beyond just his football skills but rather some much-needed publicity. The addition of the ever-controversial Manziel is likely to get them better ratings and may even attract more high-profile football castoffs.
Manziel will mightily struggle in the CFL. If the CFL's greatest quarterback Doug Flutie played horribly in his debut season, what more of a player with a plethora of character issues and off-field distractions? This Manziel experiment could be dead before it even begins.
Roughriders Become True Grey Cup Contenders
*All odds via SportsInteraction
The 2018 Grey Cup odds opened just a day after the epic Grey Cup game and it remained largely similar to 2017 edition. The Roughriders took a step up with Collaros's edition and now sit at third at +600. The addition of Collaros is bound to improve the Roughriders' third-ranked offence. They already boast the league's top-ranked defence. Collaros could be this team's missing piece.
The Stampeders remain the favourites at +220 while their provincial rivals, the Tabbies are just behind at +550. Edmonton and Winnipeg are fourth at +650 and the defending Grey Cup champions Toronto Argonauts are at +750. BC and Ottawa are longshots at +1200 and Montreal is last at +1400.
The Roughriders last won a Grey Cup in 2013 in the old Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan. No CFL team has repeated as Grey Cup champions since Montreal pulled it off in 2009 and 2010 so the odds are against the Argonauts in this case.
The only thing that comes between Collaros and the Roughriders's success is his health. Saskatchewan ranked third-last in sacks allowed and will have to shore up its offensive line if they want to protect their newest investment.
Collaros hasn't played a full season since he was a backup in Toronto in 2013. But now's his time to prove he can not only stay healthy but recapture his MOP form from 2015.
Betting On The 2018 CFL Season
With our without Johnny Football, the CFL remains Canada's premier football program. The NFL has the glitz and glamour but there is no doubt Canadians still love their fast-paced version of the game. As such, they head to the top recommended online sportsbooks open to Canadians to put their wagers on all things CFL related.
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