A retired wide receiver believes that the New England Patriots should give former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel another shot in the NFL. According to Nate Burleson, who played 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks, the Patriots would be a great avenue for Manziel to continue his NFL career that was derailed by off-field issues. Burleson discussed his position on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” where he said that Manziel could become the heir-apparent [VIDEO] to veteran quarterback Tom Brady.

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Currently, Burleson said Brian Hoyer as a backup is not an ideal long-term option for the Patriots. Burleson said if the Patriots throw Manziel into the mix, he and Hoyer can compete for the backup position.

“If Johnny goes there though, this will be the most athletic quarterback the Pats have had since Tom Brady has taken over,” said Burleson. While Burleson acknowledged that Manziel’s off-field issues could be a distraction to the Patriots, the wide receiver said the team must look at the former Heisman Trophy winner’s love for the game.

Manziel a disappointment with the Browns

The Browns drafted Manziel 22nd overall in the 2014 NFL draft out of Texas A&M. The Browns were hoping that Manziel could turn the team around as a franchise quarterback. However, Manziel failed to live up to his lofty billing as he went just 2-6 as a starter. In his rookie year, Manziel suited up for four games, throwing for 175 yards and two interceptions. The following season, Manziel started six games, throwing for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns with five picks.

In 2016, the Browns released Manziel [VIDEO] after they grew tired of his off-field antics. Recently, the New Orleans Saints were rumored to be interested in Manziel after coach Sean Payton was spotted having breakfast with the quarterback. However, Payton said that the Saints have no plans to sign Manziel and that the meeting was an attempt to get to know the quarterback more.

Manziel to join Spring League

While waiting for another shot at the NFL, Manziel said he plans to resume his football career by participating in The Spring League, a scouting and showcase event based in Austin, Texas. It will be held from March 28 through mid-April. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America”, Manziel declared that he’s ready to resume his football career. During an interview, Manziel admitted that he’s taking medication for his bipolar disorder, but the quarterback is confident that he’s in a better place to resume his football career. Manziel is hoping that The Spring League will garner him an invitation to a team’s offseason program.