Johnny Manziel opens up on Skip Bayless saying he’d be bigger than LeBron in Cleveland

3 Min Read

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel shared his thoughts on Skip Bayless saying that he’d be bigger than LeBron James in Cleveland.

Manziel, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M University, was a first-round pick by the Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft.

“Skip, I love you, bro,” Manziel said on the Club Shay Shay podcast with Shannon Sharpe. “I hope you know that it was always love. And I honestly feel like I let him down, right?

“I remember watching ‘First Take’ religiously and being able to see him come on there and ride for me when everything was going on, remember seeing the passion in his voice and the way he was animated when he would talk about me.

“So when I signed, I go to Cleveland and this, ‘Johnny Manziel will be bigger than LeBron.’ Okay, you got your clickbait. You got your headline for that week type of thing. And it was never ever going to be a reality.”

Bayless infamously posted on social media that Manziel would be bigger in Cleveland than James, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and has played for the Cavs in two different stints in his career, winning a title for the franchise in the 2015-16 season.

In Bayless’ defense, James was not with the Cavs at the time when Manziel was drafted. He was instead with the Miami Heat, but the four-time champion returned to Cleveland for the 2014-15 season and led the franchise to four straight trips to the NBA Finals.

He won a title with the Cavs by erasing a 3-1 series deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, who set the single-season record for wins in the 2015-16 regular season, going 73-9.

Manziel, on the other hand, flamed out with the Browns. He only played two seasons in the NFL, starting eight games. For his career, the former first-round pick threw for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Unfortunately for both Manziel and Bayless, the former Browns quarterback became a member of a long list of struggling Cleveland signal-callers. The team has since found some success, making the playoffs with Baker Mayfield at the helm in the 2020 season before using multiple quarterbacks, including veteran Joe Flacco, to make the postseason in the 2023 campaign.

James may go down as the greatest basketball player of all time, so it’s safe to say that Bayless’ take was nowhere close. However, it’s nice to see Manziel own up to the fact that he let Bayless down by not succeeding in his NFL career.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.