Johnny Manziel stuck on CFL depth chart behind record-tying QB Jeremiah Masoli

When Johnny Manziel agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the natural presumption was the former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round pick would end up playing a significant role for the Canadian Football League team. Jeremiah Masoli has decided to snuff out that possibility.

Masoli, the former Oregon and Mississippi quarterback who went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, has now tied a record for most consecutive 300-yard passing games in CFL history with nine.

Through four games, Masoli is second in the CFL in passing yards (1,378) along with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He's also completing 65.8 percent of his passes and averages 9.2 yards per attempt. Masoli's worst game this season, yardage wise, is a 332-yard passing effort, and he compensated for that with three touchdowns.

And as a result, Manziel remains squarely on the bench behind him.

But it shouldn't be all bad news for Manziel, especially considering Masoli's circuitous path to becoming a star starting quarterback in the CFL.

Masoli has been in Canada trying to latch on since 2012. He was traded to the Tiger-Cats in a large deal back in 2013, but never really got a chance to prove himself until June Jones took over as coach last year and immediately installed him as the starting quarterback. 

That's when Masoli began ripping off the stretch of 300-yard passing games. Manziel is behind him on the depth chat, but it's not for anything he's done wrong. It's simply because Masoli continues to put up big numbers.

For Manziel, this might actually be considered a good thing. He can sit and learn and study the differences in the game, become acclimated to Jones' offense, and, rather likely, eventually get a chance at standing under center and putting up some big numbers of his own. 

Manziel agreed to sign a contract with the Tiger-Cats back in May, pushing back his dream of returning to the NFL for the foreseeable future. The team had offered him the deal back in January. Manziel revealed he was battling bipolar disorder as well as substance-abuse issues in a recent set of interviews.

And although he was hoping to land a gig in the NFL, it became clear teams needed to see more than just his performance in a Spring League as well as various pro days before signing him to a contract in the NFL.

That made the CFL his best option to get actual playing time. Now he needs the cards to fall his way up north. Masoli isn't helping matters. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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