Moffitt says Browns failed his physical after refusing to take pay cut


In a two-day period in August, John Moffitt found himself as a member of three different NFL teams.

After the Seattle Seahawks determined that J.R. Sweezy had beat out Moffitt for the starting job at right guard, the team looked to deal their former third-round draft pick. The Seahawks agreed to a trade with Cleveland to send Moffitt to the Browns in exchange for defensive lineman Brian Sanford, pending physical examinations.

What happened next left a sour taste about Cleveland for Moffitt.

In an interview with Bob and Groz on 710 ESPN in Seattle to discuss his decision to leave football altogether just over a week ago, Moffitt said the Browns failed his physical examination because he wouldn’t agree to a pay cut.

“I haven’t said this publicly — they suck. Cleveland sucks,” Moffitt said. “They are so terrible and the way that they did me in that front office is so dirty. They failed me on a BS physical.”

Moffitt had a pair of surgeries on a knee during his time with the Seahawks. Moffitt underwent an MRI as part of his physical process and was told by a doctor there was nothing wrong with his knee. Not long after the Browns asked him to take a pay cut. He refused.

“And then my agent finally did some work and figured out that per the CBA you can’t do that on a trade,” Moffitt said. “So now they just call me up to [their] office and say, ‘We’re going to fail you on your physical.’ I went in with the G.M., talked to him, and they tried to get the head trainer to tell me that my knee wasn’t right and they … were basically trying to lie to me. I was like, ‘That’s great. Thanks. You guys really set me up here because you failed me on a physical [and] the whole league’s going to know.’ ”

The Browns voided the trade. A day later, Moffitt was dealt to the Denver Broncos in exchange for defensive tackle Sealver Siliga. Moffitt passed a physical with the Broncos.

Moffitt elected to leave football and told the Broncos he was retiring last week because he just wasn’t happy playing the game anymore.

None of the three players remain with the teams involved in the trades. Moffitt retired. Siliga is with the New England Patriots after being released by Seattle and Sanford ended up in Oakland after being released by the Browns.

41 responses to “Moffitt says Browns failed his physical after refusing to take pay cut

  1. All the Browns had to was move up one spot for RG3! Holmgren did absolutely nothing for the franchise and the jury’s still out on whether this new regime has any idea what they are doing. Have to give them credit for pulling the trigger on the TRichardson trade….would anyone even give up a 3rd rounder for him now???

  2. Maybe the league should investigate or maybe the Browns need to form a committee to try to improve the toxic atmosphere in their front office and Moffitt needs to get some lawyers involved and sue.

  3. While Moffitt may be telling the truth, I think you’d have a pretty hard time proving it to be true. If they did do that, then it surely sounds shady, but this is also coming from a guy who decided to retire mid season.

  4. I liked John, as a player and for his efforts to help the homeless in Seattle. But in a real sense he shot himself in the foot as far as the Hawks’ FO was concerned with his “urinary antics” during the offseason. Once Sweezy had matured I think Moff’s future was pretty much determined for him, and it precluded any chance of him playing again in Seahawks blue. The PED scandals with Browner, Sherman, and Irvin, left the FO with precious little patience for a marginal player with a great desire to redecorate area shopping malls with “yellow water”.

  5. As a Browns fan, I can’t say I’m surprised. Banner/Lombardi certainly aren’t the most ethical guys and, if true, this is pretty crappy. That said, I don’t expect NFLers to be models of integrity. This is not a nice business.

  6. None of the players involved appear to be any good to begin with.

    However, how can anyone question the integrity of the Cleveland Browns ownership and executives? Jimmy Haslam? Joe Banner? Lombardi?

    They should all be in politics!

  7. The dude retired because his knees weren’t holding up. Now Im positive the Browns are glad he didn’t pass their physical

  8. Let me see if I’ve got this right: After getting beat out in Seattle, another team with a top 5 defense (Browns) says they’ll give him chance to compete for a backup job, but not at a starter’s pay scale. Moffitt declined and now he’s out of the league.

  9. its just as dirty to quit on your team early in the season – you didn’t know your love for the game was gone just a few weeks before?

  10. “…Seattle Seahawks guard John Moffitt will manage to avoid jail time, provided he can stay out of trouble, after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct on Friday and received a suspended sentence of 24 months in jail, according to Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle….

    …The 319-pound offensive lineman was reportedly seen by a security guard urinating on the skybridge between the Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square malls in January 2012. Moffitt was given a one-year ban from the mall, but returned five months later to urinate next to a parked car and run away from mall security…”

    (quoted from SB Nation Website)

    Now that he’s out of football, the dude might consider landing work selling outhouses to Canucks.

    Well…it’s an idea anyways.

  11. He sounds bitter and I’m not sure why. If anyone got screwed, it was the Seahawks and Broncos, not Moffitt.

  12. I never agreed with this idiotic trade. The Hawks should have just kept Moffitt. It’s not like our O-line is top notch, and we have been ravaged with injury this season. Moffitt may not have turned out to be the stud road grating right guard that PC/JS predicted, but he was a serviceable starter, or back-up at the very least. I mean, Carpenter has been just as bad for his draft status, yet he is still on the team. Moffitt wasn’t any worse than what I’ve seen out of Sweezy this year, that’s for sure. Then, there was always the compensation… Bottom line is, he was a 3rd round pick, and he was decent. What did we end up with? No future draft picks… Not even a late round pick… Only a player in Silgia who went undrafted, and has one total tackle to his name. The worst part is, he didn’t even make the team, LOL. A waste of a 3rd round pick, and a waste of a decent lineman’s career!!! Good luck Moffitt!!!

  13. Honestly, I don’t think we needed a bogus failed physical of Moffitt to find out that Cleveland sucks…

    …but it’s nice to hear Moffitt say it with his outer voice.

  14. With Joey “Nickles” aka Banner in the FO this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Cleveland is going to experience what us Eagles fans had to endure for years with that clown.

  15. Im sorry, but isnt that how most high end businesses work? They obviously didnt want to pay someone as much as he was making with 2 bad knees. Thats why Seattle was trading him (for all we know, you could have been hurt the first week after the trade) ..Smart Business IMO

  16. Yes. They did you Moffit. So if the Browns had not done that you would still love football…or you would have quit on them like you did on Denver.

    Good work Browns! As a fan, I appreciate the work done by this front office to make changes. The Factory of Sadness is changing, slowly, but changing.

  17. What a tool. I guess if they passed him, his passion for the game would have never died. Yeah, they probably did fail him because he wouldn’t take a pay cut, but how can he hold a grudge when he had no love for the game and was going to quit anyway?

  18. If Moffitt is right then the Browns should be ashamed of themselves for treating him like that. And if I was on the team I’d start looking over my shoulder the next time I have an injury.

  19. Mike Lombardi has never been mistaken as a classy guy. Moffitt shouldn’t be surprised of his shenanigans.

  20. Sounds like the Browns did the right thing. Maybe it was the wrong way but the guy still got traded, still received the same pay, played for a much better team right now with championship potential and then QUIT. I am sure his interview did not go well. Browns should be praised for finding the loop hole.

  21. This has got to be what happened since he went on and played a full healthy season in Denver. Its not like he retired halfway through the season with the team that did get him or anything……. Oh wait

  22. [quote]willking9 says: Nov 14, 2013 12:23 AM

    All the Browns had to was move up one spot for RG3! Holmgren did absolutely nothing for the franchise and the jury’s still out on whether this new regime has any idea what they are doing. Have to give them credit for pulling the trigger on the TRichardson trade….would anyone even give up a 3rd rounder for him now???[/quote]

    All they had to do is move up TWO spots for RG3, they were sitting at #4 prior to the trade for TRich.

    That would have meant 2013 and 2014 first round picks…for what?

    A QB that has led his team in 2013 to a 4th place standing in one of the worst divisions in the NFL this year?

    That means, no Mingo and no first round pick in 2014 in which there are at least 5 QBs with as much talent as RGIII if they don’t stay in school and no (2nd) first round pick from the Colts.

    I will agree Holmgren didn’t do anything, but making the trade for RGIII certainly hasn’t worked out for the Redskins yet and we still have our future with picks that are hopefully in capable hands to make them.

  23. Moffitt is a liar and a quitter. He couldn’t make the Seahawks, Browns recognized he was damages goods and he wouldn’t last long, then soon after, he quits on a SuperBowl contender. All proof the Browns were right.

  24. John Moffit QUIT on the Broncos so he can follow the Dalai Lama on month after signing with them. The guy has no credibility.

    Seattle didn’t want him in 2014.
    Browns wanted him, but he failed the physical.
    Broncos take a chance on him.
    He quits.

    Yeah, makes sense that it all happened because the Browns wanted to reduce his pay.

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