Former Chicago Bears star Jim McMahon is known for being the only quarterback in franchise history to lead the team to a Super Bowl. He’s also known for being wildly outspoken and candid.
In a May 19 appearance on 850 ESPN Cleveland, the former Bears quarterback told a story about a time during training camp in 1995, when McMahon had been released by the Browns, who were coached by Belichick at the time. According to McMahon, Belichick told him he’d be re-signed shortly after his release in what would have been a very shady scenario — if it’s true.
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McMahon: Belichick Said He’d Pay Me to Sit Out
“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, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“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.’”
As Florio also points out, that would be a big no-no and a violation of NFL policy, as non-players can’t collect a salary to essentially be on call. The story only grows more bizarre from there.
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McMahon Details Altercation With Former Browns Exec, Calls Belichick POS
McMahon then discussed what went on after Belichick made the offer for him to stay:
“So I called my attorney and said, ‘Can I trust this guy, he said they’re gonna pay me to sit out? He said it’s probably only gonna be one or two weeks.’ So I ended up finding a house … to rent, found a hockey team for my sons. So I called in the first week on a Friday to get my check and get the runaround. I’m thinking first week jitters. The second week I called in for my check, got the runaround again. I sat here for seven weeks doing nothing in Cleveland.
They finally signed me back Week Seven or Eight. I dressed three games — the eight, nine and ten weeks — and I got those checks. I confronted the G.M. 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.”
McMahon was likely referencing Michael Lombardi, who served as the Browns’ Director of Player Personnel that year. The Punky QB then revealed how the situation ended:
I walked into the training room and called my attorney and said, ‘Hey get me cut right now.’ He called me back within two minutes and said they’ll release you if that’s what you want. So I had just walked out of the QB meeting to go to the rest room and all this had just happened in ten minutes. So I walk back into the QB meeting — it was Vinny Testaverde, myself and Eric Zeier and just said ‘Hey boys, I’ll see you all later. I’m outta here’ The coach said, ‘Have you talked Bill?’ I said, “You can tell Bill to kiss my ass. He’s a lying piece of shit.’ Then I was gone. The very next day I was up in Green Bay.
Oof. Bears fans know McMahon is no stranger to animated stories, but this one may take the cake.
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