If Johnny Manziel wants to return to football in 2017, it looks like he's going to have an option.
"If Johnny Manziel is serious about a future in the NFL, the Spring League is willing to provide him with a platform to prove he's still relevant," CEO Brian Woods told the Associated Press on Friday.
The league officially launched on January 9 with an announcement from longtime former NFL scout John Peterson, who will be serving as the league's president.
"There's a tremendous need for a developmental and instructional league," Peterson said at the time. "The purpose is to help players get selected for the NFL and other pro leagues in Canada or arena football."
According to Peterson, players like Manziel would be perfect for the Spring League, and not because of the instant publicity he'd bring. Peterson says it would give Johnny Football a chance to become a better quarterback.
"The No. 1 position that needs players to develop is quarterback and the No. 1 valued position on defense is the pass rusher," Peterson said. "How do we develop them? They need a chance to play live and that's what this league is all about."
Besides Manziel, the league is hoping to land other former NFL players like Rice and Young. Of course, the league isn't going to be made up of just former NFL players, because that's not really who the league is designed for.
The league is hoping to fill its rosters with players in their mid-20s who may not have been good enough to make the cut in the NFL or CFL.
The four teams in the league will play a total of six games beginning in April. According to the league, all games will be nationally televised. Each team will have a 40-player roster with one catch: The players won't be technically getting paid.
Any player who's on a roster will get free room and board, along with a daily per diem for food. All games will played at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, which is where the Saints have held training camp for the past three seasons.
As for Manziel, it's not clear if he'd be interested playing, although he is planning to make a return in 2017. The former first-round pick told ESPN on Friday that his goal this year is to get back in the NFL.
"Play football. A preseason game, anything I don't care what it is. Only need one team to believe in me and I'll do anything to make that a possibility," the former Browns quarterback wrote in a message to ESPN.
If Manziel can't find an NFL team to play for, this new league may be the route to go. Although NFL scouts are expected to attend the games, the Spring League is not affiliated with the NFL.