— The Sports Xchange —
Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel is headed to the short-season developmental Spring League.
The Spring League announced on Wednesday that Manziel has signed a deal to play in the two-weekend showcase in Austin, Texas, from March 28-April 15.
Manziel will be part of the Spring League South squad, which has games scheduled for April 7 and April 14, per the league’s press release.
“Back in Texas where it all started,” Manzier posted on Twitter. “I’ll be joining @TheSpringLeague in Austin to get #ComebackSZN started! Can’t wait to get back on the field and show NFL scouts what I can do! #cantwaitforspring”
According to the the league’s website, it features “four teams comprised almost exclusively of players with NFL experience.”
Manziel was offered a contract to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League last month, but the sides have yet to come to terms.
–Kicker Sebastian Janikowski was told that the Oakland Raiders will not bring him back for a 19th season, ESPN reported.
Janikowski, the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer, was on injured reserve last season because of a back injury. He will become an unrestricted free agent.
Giorgio Tavecchio, 27, replaced Janikowski this past season and made 16 of 21 field-goal attempts, with a long of 53, and missed only one of his 34 extra-point tries.
Janikowski, who turns 40 on March 2, was selected by the Raiders with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Florida State.
–Two days after applying for reinstatement, Washington Redskins safety Su’a Cravens was reinstated by the NFL, multiple media outlets reported.
Cravens was placed on the reserve/left squad list by the Redskins in September after leaving the team, which left him ineligible to play for the entire season.
He told the Redskins at the time he was considering retirement. In December, Cravens’ agent, Fadde Mikhail, issued a statement explaining that Cravens has been cleared after undergoing treatment for Post Concussion Syndrome.
–The Chicago Bears are expected to part ways with quarterback Mike Glennon, per a published report.
Glennon was signed to a three-year, $45 million contract by the Bears less than one year ago with the initial plans for him to be the team’s starter. Chicago, however, elected to select fellow quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Glennon struggled in four starts with the Bears in 2017, throwing five interceptions and committing eight overall turnovers during the team’s 1-3 stretch.
–The San Francisco 49ers prevented center Daniel Kilgore from entering the free-agent market by re-signing him to a three-year contract extension through the 2020 season, the team announced.
In 2017, Kilgore, 30, started all 16 games at center for the 49ers. He was named the winner of the team’s Bobb McKittrick Award, which is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime offensive line coach.
–The Cincinnati Bengals signed free agent tackle Bobby Hart.
Hart began the 2017 season as the New York Giants’ starting right tackle. He lost his starting job after two games, but regained a starting spot late in the season.
He was released by the Giants before the final regular-season game amid reports that he told coaches that he would not play in the finale because of an ankle injury.
–Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has penciled in his return for the 2018 season opener and is adamant that he won’t change how he plays after tearing the ACL and LCL in his left knee.
“I definitely won’t change, so to speak,” Wentz said during a Tuesday radio appearance on Sports Radio 94WIP, via NJ.com. “That has what made me successful this last season and my whole career. It is something I’ve learned since coming into the league — how to protect myself. … I am not going to let this change me.”
–Despite his triumphs, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles elected to deliver a message on failure during his appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Tuesday.
“As athletes, we have an opportunity to speak about it, because athletes, we try to be perfect, and we’re not,” the Super Bowl MVP said. “We fail just like anyone else. We have issues just like everyone else. We have life. Life happens. It’s OK to share those things because I think that’s what makes us strong is overcoming those failures.”
As for what his future holds with the Eagles and his role as fellow quarterback Carson Wentz rehabs from a torn ACL injury, Foles said: “All that stuff will take care of itself. We’ll see what happens with my career.”
–Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he had a clear picture of his team’s future after his first extensive conversation with Frank Reich.
That picture was in focus shortly after Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts to leave the team with many questions. Irsay found himself just a few — and simple ones, at that — after Indianapolis officially introduced Reich as the head coach on Tuesday.
“I know you would think (this is) natural for me to say,” Irsay said. “But the more I think about it, the more I thought, ‘Jim, how come you were so stupid? How could you not have seen the clarity of this sooner?'”
–The New York Jets announced that Jeremy Bates has been promoted to offensive coordinator. Bates’ promotion had been reported last month, but was not made official until Wednesday.
Bates joined the Jets as quarterbacks coach last season and will continue to hold that position while adding the title of offensive coordinator. He replaces John Morton, who was dismissed after one season as offensive coordinator.
–Doug Nussmeier, who was a quarterback during his brief NFL playing career, will join the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff as a tight ends coach, ESPN.com reported.
Nussmeier was Florida’s offensive coordinator from 2015 through 2017 before being let go when head coach Jim McElwain was fired after last season.
Last week, it was reported that Nussmeier was set to join LSU’s staff as an offensive analyst, but now it appears he will join the Cowboys instead.
The Cowboys also hired Doug Colman as their assistant special teams coach, ESPN reported.
–The Arizona Cardinals announced the retention of six assistant coaches and the addition of 11 others to the coaching staff of new head coach Steve Wilks.
They announced that quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, running backs coach Terry Allen, linebackers coach Larry Foote, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, assistant offensive line coach Steve Heiden and strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris will be retained from the 2017 staff.
The new assistant coaches include assistant defensive line coach Chris Achuff, offensive line coach Ray Brown, defensive quality control coach Alonso Escalante, assistant defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison, senior assistant defensive line coach Don Johnson, assistant special teams coach Randall McCray, defensive backs coach David Merritt Sr., tight ends coach Jason Michael, offensive quality control coach Troy Rothenbuhler, offensive assistant Cameron Turner and running backs coach Kirby Wilson.
–The Buffalo Bills hired Terry Robiskie as the team’s wide receivers coach, the team announced.
The move comes one day after the San Diego Chargers announced that receivers coach Phil McGeoghan left the Bills to take the same job in Los Angeles.
Robiskie has been coaching in the NFL for the last 36 seasons, including the last two years as offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans.
–The Atlanta Falcons announced the hirings of running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, offensive assistant Chad Walker assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari.
Parmalee has spent the last three seasons as an assistant running backs coach with the Oakland Raiders.
Walker returns to the Falcons after serving as an assistant defensive backs coach in 2015 and assistant linebackers coach in 2016. He spent last season coaching outside linebackers at Arkansas.
Chaudhari served as the special teams coordinator at the University of Hawaii.
–The Carolina Panthers hired Drew Terrell as an offensive quality control coach, the team announced.
Terrell has spent the last three seasons at the University of Michigan as an offensive graduate assistant coach.
–Manuel Orrego-Savala, the Guatemalan man living illegally in the U.S. and charged in a drunken-driving crash that killed linebacker Edwin Jackson of the Indianapolis Colts and another man, has been charged in an unrelated case in Lebanon, Ind.
Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer filed charges of perjury, forgery, identity deception and misdemeanor false informing against the 37-year-old Orrego-Savala.
Meyer said Orrego-Savala gave police a false identity in 2017, when he was arrested and prosecuted for misdemeanor driving without a license.
–Former NFL center Jason Brown wanted to learn about farming after his professional career came to an end.
Brown has learned quite a lot apparently as he gave away 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to the local North Carolina community last weekend, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
Brown signed a five-year, $37.5 million deal — with $20 million guaranteed — with the then-St. Louis Rams in free agency in 2009. When he retired after being released in March 2012, Brown bought a 1,030-acre farm near Louisburg, N.C., and he began giving away crops from his First Fruits Farm to local charities.