Although he hasn't played since 2015, Montreal felt strongly enough about Manziel to surrender two future first-round picks to Hamilton in the five-player deal.
Montreal, meanwhile, has scored just 69 total points during its 1-4 start and has nothing to lose by signing Manziel to shake things up a bit.
Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman is very familiar with Manziel and knows how to use him, having coached him at Texas A&M.
"We have acquired an exceptional quarterback with undeniable talent", Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said in a statement.
The Alouettes made the move a day after starting quarterback Drew Willy sustained his second injury of the season.
Johnny Manziel traded to CFL's Alouettes
The six-foot, 210-pound Manziel was taken in the first round, No. 22 overall, by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 National Football League draft but was released in March 2016 after posting a 2-6 record over two tumultuous campaigns. The 24-year-old played in five games in his rookie season, connecting on 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards and two interceptions. 'With his great mobility, his athletic abilities and his instinct we believe that he will have a positive impact on our offence'.
Backup Jeff Mathews, who replaced Willy earlier this season, is also out four-to-six weeks with foot injury. He was released in March 2016 after posting a 2-6 record over two tumultuous campaigns.
Manziel famously became the first freshman in NCAA history to win a Heisman in 2012, when he was also named the Associated Press Player of the Year.
He had actively pursued an NFL contract this offseason and played in the developmental Spring League before the CFL deal.
This is at least the third time talks have taken place since last fall when Hamilton gave permission to speak to him and work him out.
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