Saints coach Sean Payton downplays meeting with Johnny Manziel

By Joe Rodgers 29 March 2017
Saints coach Sean Payton downplays meeting with Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel's breakfast date with Sean Payton during Super Bowl weekend in Houston was nothing more than a get-to-know-you session, the Saints coach explained Tuesday. 

NFL Network previously reported the troubled free-agent quarterback was drawing interest from New Orleans as a potential backup for quarterback Drew Brees. Payton said the meeting was unlike others his staff has had with free agents and draft prospects.

"That is a little different [situation]," Payton said Tuesday, via the team's website, from the NFL owners meetings in Arizona. "I wasn't involved in the draft process in 2012, the year [Manziel] came out. And so I met him and had breakfast at the Super Bowl. I was curious, really, to get to know him some. He's got a number of things that he's working to do to make himself available.

"I certainly would say that for us it was just a chance for me to visit with him. And that would be in a much different phase than Malcolm Butler or some of the things we're discussing as we approach the draft. It was the first time I met him, and look, we spent some time just kind of going through his story."

A recently engaged Manziel has been training with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield in San Diego but hasn't played in the NFL since December 2015 and has a reported six-game suspension hanging over his head for a misdemeanor assault case.

Despite the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's many legal issues, Manziel claims to have his life together and is focused on getting back on the field.

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