Jim McMahon: Bill Belichick a 'Lying Piece of S--t' After Browns Didn't Re-Sign QB

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon (9) and other members of the Super Bowl XX Championship Chicago Bears team are honored before the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Chicago. Green Bay won the game 10-3. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini

A quarter-century has passed since Jim McMahon played for the Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick.

It does not appear time has healed sore feelings.

McMahon called Belichick a "lying piece of s--t" Wednesday during a radio appearance on 850 ESPN Cleveland (h/t Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio). The longtime NFL quarterback said Belichick lied to him and told him the team planned to re-sign him and pay him for a full season after cutting him in 1995.

"After training camp [Belichick] called me in and says, 'Hey we're gonna have to release you. We've got a lot of guys hurt. We need some roster spots,'" McMahon said. "Then he said, 'Hey no. But we really want you, we need you here.' I said what are you telling me, Bill? He goes, 'I want you to move here.' If I'm gonna be here. I move my family here. They're gonna be here for six months with me. I gotta find a hockey team for my sons. They were big into hockey at the time. So don't screw me around. And he said 'We're gonna take care of you. ... We'll pay you to sit out.'"

McMahon said the Browns subsequently kept him on ice in Cleveland and did not pay him, instead waiting until midway through the 1995 campaign to bring him in. According to McMahon's telling of the story, he then confronted and assaulted then-Browns general manager Michael Lombardi over backpay:

"I dressed three games—the eight, nine and ten weeks—and I got those checks. I confronted the GM at the time, what the hell was his name, Lombardi? He’s coming down the hallway and I said, 'Hey man, I need my money. My wife was just in a wreck and I don't want to deal with insurance.' He looks at me and says, 'Well, maybe we'll pay you, maybe we wont.' And I lost it. I just snapped. I grabbed him by the neck and threw his head against the wall and said, 'You're gonna pay me my money.' Then I started realizing what I was doing and I'm looking around the hallway to see if there were any cameras. I stopped hitting him and he slid down the wall."

The Browns then cut McMahon again, and he subsequently signed with the Green Bay Packers. He served as a backup behind Brett Favre before retiring following the 1996 season.