Whilst some NFL draft prospects are busy meeting with prospective teams and coaches, Johnny Manziel is signing agreements with teams of a different sort.
The former Texas A&M quarterback has today signed a multi-year deal with collectible company, Panini to become an authentic athlete the company have announced today.
Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said: “Johnny Manziel is one of the most exciting players to enter the NFL Draft in quite some time and his arrival has been heavily anticipated for years by fans and collectors alike. He’s at the head of a 2014 draft class that will drive trading card sales not just in 2014, but for many years afterward.”
The move for Manziel is somewhat ironic after the quarterback was suspended for the first half of his team's 2013 opener against Rice after an NCAA investigation into signed memorabilia that the Heisman trophy winner had allegedly been selling. NCAA athletes are forbidden from making profit from such sales whilst they are still in college.
Manziel said: “I’m honored that Panini America wanted me to be a part of their great team. I remain focused and committed to doing everything I can – on the field and off — to be the best quarterback I can be.”
The quarterback is among the top rated prospects in the upcoming NFL draft and is widely predicted to be a top 10 pick.
NFL GM's will hope that Manziel is ready to make as big a splash on the field in the NFL as he has off it so far this offseason.