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Skip Bayless Reveals His True Feelings On Johnny Manziel

Skip Bayless discussing ESPN's all-time list.


Once upon a time, Skip Bayless said college star Johnny Manziel would end up becoming a bigger icon in the city of Cleveland than LeBron James. No, we're not kidding.

Bayless has dealt a ton of crazy takes over the years, but that may top them all. He spoke about it at length on Monday afternoon.

"What was the last debate you lost? It gives me an opportunity to address something that I've seen pop up on the internet here of late," Bayless said on

What was the last debate Skip lost?

"I once said that Johnny Manziel would be even bigger in Cleveland than LeBron James ever was..."

— The Skip Bayless Show (@SkipBaylessShow) January 17, 2022

">The Skip Bayless Show. "Me saying that Johnny Manziel is going to be even bigger in Cleveland than LeBron James ever was. I debated many people on First Take/Undisputed, on ESPN, about Johnny Manziel. You can say that that wound up being the dumbest thing I ever said. But it really wasn't. "You can say I lost all those debates but I really didn't because yeah I love Johnny, so did a lot of people. I followed closely as he won the Heisman as a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M. There were a lot of people who knew Johnny very well. Stories were legendary on and off the field. ... Johnny would've been not a good, but a great pro football player. "... Johnny gave into wanting to party as his priority over wanting to play football. He truly prioritized partying over starring in the NFL. ... LeBron was all-time great, but if Johnny had led the Browns to a Super Bowl, which he was highly capable of, trust me, bigger than LeBron."

There's no doubt the NFL is king. But basketball tends to be the sport which allows individual players to shine brightest whereas the NFL is far more about the team.

Had Manziel led the Browns to the Super Bowl he would have been a legend, just like LeBron is. But there's now way in knowing which would've meant more to the city of Cleveland.