The CFL said Manziel is not eligible to sign with another team in the league, which had his full rights for two seasons.
"We are disappointed by this turn of events. Johnny was provided a great deal of support by our organization, in collaboration with the CFL, but he has been unable to abide by the terms of his agreement," Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said in a statement. "We worked with the league and presented alternatives to Johnny, who was unwilling to proceed."
It is unclear what Manziel did to violate the agreement with the Alouettes and the CFL, but the quarterback posted on social media that he looks forward "to exploring new options."
I want to thank Coach Sherman, my teammates, and the CFL fans. My time there reestablished my love for the game of football and the work that goes into it. I look forward to exploring new options within the United States.— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) February 27, 2019
According to a source, Manziel violated a set of conditions set forth by the CFL when he originally signed in May 2018. Although the league never specified the terms, it said in a statement that they were "extensive and exacting" and were generated after an assessment from an independent expert on domestic violence.
The source did not believe that the release was a result of Manziel attempting to break his contract to play in an American developmental league.
Manziel, 26, played for the Alouettes last season in an attempt to resurrect his career. In eight games, he completed 106 passes in 165 attempts for 1,290 yards, with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Montreal traded two players and two first-round picks to Hamilton last July for Manziel's rights.
Manziel has dealt with several off-field issues. In 2016, a domestic assault charge against Manziel in Dallas was dismissed after he took an anger management course and participated in the NFL's substance abuse program. In a recent interview, he said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has stopped drinking.
He last played in the NFL in 2015 with the Cleveland Browns, who released him two seasons after selecting him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.
The video above is from a previous story.
Just saw Johnny Manziel at a charity event here in Houston. Great with the kids. Seemed in a good place. Today's #CFL release and ban crushing on many levels for him. Much more than just football. #manziel— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) February 27, 2019