It said it would not honor a contract signed with any other CFL team but did not disclose Manziel's specific contractual violations.
Former Heisman Trophy victor and NFL burnout Johnny Manziel will get his next chance on a football field in the Alliance of American Football.
Manziel was suspended by the NFL in 2016 for violating the league's substance abuse policy, but never pursued playing in the league again.
According to Shefter, Manziel would have been allocated to San Antonio, but the Commanders waived his rights, so the controversial quarterback will go through the league's waiver system.
The eight-team AAF is midway through its inaugural season this spring. Every team in the AAF will now have a chance to sign him in reverse order of the current standings, with the Memphis Express (1-5) getting first priority.
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The Express have struggled to find a successful quarterback so far this year, which could provide Manziel a quick opportunity to take the field.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is the third high-profile passer on the team's roster, slotting in alongside Zach Mettenberger and Christian Hackenberg. In his first game for Montreal, he threw four interceptions on 11-of-20 passing for 104 yards. Brandon Silvers replaced Mettenberger after he suffered an injury during Saturday's loss. He spent two seasons with the Cleveland Browns after being picked up in the 2014 National Football League draft, but went 2-6 as their starting quarterback.
Manziel has signed the AAF's standard player agreement, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy victor at Texas A&M had his contract with the CFL terminated this offseason.