McManus was not your typical CFL quarterback, but he had as long and highly distinguished CFL career that lasted 17 years from 1990 to 2006. McManaus spent about half his career with Hamilton, but also had stops in Winnipeg, Edmonton, BC and Calgary. The stereotype of a successful CFL QB is a mobile, fleet footed runner, and McManus could charitably be best described as a slow runner. Despite that apparent disadvantage, McManus ranked second in passing yards among CFL quarterbacks when he retired, thanks in no small part to his quick release that helped compensate for his lack of mobility. McManus was an 11th round draft pick of th Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL in 1988, but was released after the 1989 season. McManus broke into the CFL with Winnipeg and it was a slow start as he served as the Bomber backup QB from 1990 to 1992, and when he saw action, he had a pass completion percentage under 50% for all three seasons. After 1992, McManus joined the BC Lions as a free agent and spending three seasons from 1993 to 1995 with the Lions. McManus saw a bit more action and saw his numbers improve a bit in his first two seasons on the coast before finally getting a chance to be the starting QB in 1995. In that season he completed 295 of 581 attempts for 4655 yards. A free agent again after the 1995 season, McManus moved to Edmonton where he threw for over 4000 yards in both seasons and saw his pass completion percentage rise to 53.6% in 1996 and 60.0% in 1997. McManus was a free agent again after 1997 and this time signed with Hamilton where he had his longest stint, from 1998 to 2005. McManus put up big numbers with the Tiger-Cats, throwing more than 500 passes for more than 4000 yards in six of those seasons, and over 5000 yards in two of them. McManus's best season came in 1999 when he threw 612 passes, completed 365 of them for 5334 yards and 59.6% completion rate. Those numbers earned McManus his first and only Eastern and All-Canadian honours as well as the Most Outstanding Player award in the CFL. Hamilton also won the Grey Cup under McManus's leadership in 1999. After the 2005 season, McManus moved Eest to play his final season in Calgary as the team's backup QB behind Henry Burris.