Patriots gridiron news: This Johnny Manziel thing just got real

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Johnny Manziel
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Johnny Manziel /

Johnny Manziel took part in the University of San Diego’s Pro Day on Thursday and the New England Patriots were one of 13 NFL teams on hand to watch.

Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel let it be known that he would love to join the New England Patriots as a backup to Tom Brady, but is the team interested in giving the 2014 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns a chance?

Well, things could be trending in that direction.

What began as a suggestion by former NFL receiver Nate Burleson that New England would be the perfect place for Manziel may be actually gaining some traction.

On Thursday, the Patriots were one of 13 NFL teams in attendance to watch Johnny Football take part in the University of San Diego’s Pro Day.  According to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams, Manziel agreed to throw at the pro day because the team didn’t have a quarterback available to attend.

And of course, the product of Texas A&M took the opportunity to show NFL scouts that he still has what it takes to play in the NFL.

While it is not Manziel’s physical ability that is in doubt, his level of focus and perceived attitude is what have teams concerned.  But, in a place like New England, backing up a quarterback like Tom Brady, Manziel could find himself in the right environment to mature and eventually succeed.

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Skillset aside, those are a couple of reasons the Patriots come to mind when it comes to the possibility of a Manziel return to the NFL.  Also add the fact that the Patriots are in the need of some youth at the position, giving the 25-year-old quarterback who already has experience in the league a chance could be more than just a little interest.

Following the pro day, Johnny Manziel told reporters that he feel his head is in the right place and any team willing to take the chance will see that.

"“If people get a chance to be around me and sit down and get a chance to see where I’m at, maybe they’ll see something different than in the past,” Manziel said, via NECN.  “Maybe I won’t come off as entitled or arrogant or cocky or whatever it might have been in the past that rubbed people the wrong way.”"

Overall, Manziel looked good at the pro day.  Weighing in at 200 pounds, he threw the ball 38 times with just two incompletions while playing in light rain.

If there is any question on whether the Patriots just happened to be there watching other players, New England was the team to bring Johnny Manziel in to get an official weight.

Yes, things may have just gotten real.

Other NFL teams in attendance were the Bears, Browns, Chargers, Giants, Chiefs, Jets, Raiders, Titans, Lions, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers.

To note, most of those teams are pretty much set at quarterback. 

Around the AFC East

New York Jets: Well, the New England Patriots will have to contend with Terrelle Pryor Sr. again.

According to ESPN on Thursday, the free agent wide receiver agreed to terms with the New York Jets.  The signing gives the Jets a group of proven wide receivers with some size.  He joins Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa in a pretty good group of offensive playmakers.

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Pryor only had 20 catches for 240 yards last season with the Washington Redskins, but did have a 1,000-yard season in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns.  If he returns to form, the 28-year-old quarterback turned receiver could be a great pickup for the Jets and a player the Patriots will have to find ways to defend.