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Mike McMahon
No. 8, 4
Personal information
Born: (1979-02-08) February 8, 1979 (age 43)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
NFL Draft:2001 / Round: 5 / Pick: 149
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:515
Pass completions:229
Passer rating:55.1
Passing yards:2867
Player stats at · PFR

Michael Edward McMahon (born February 8, 1979) is a former American football quarterback who played for five seasons in the National Football League (NFL), mostly serving in a backup quarterback role. He spent one season in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and one season in the United Football League (UFL). After playing college football for Rutgers, he was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played for the Lions for four seasons from 2001 to 2004, and for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005. McMahon played for the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 2007. He signed with the California Redwoods of the UFL in 2009 and played for the Virginia Destroyers from 2011 to 2012. He last played for the Uppsala 86ers of the Swedish Superseries in 2013.

Early years

McMahon played at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pennsylvania,[1] where he became the starting quarterback during his senior year in 1996.[2] He graduated in 1997.[3] While in high school, he was featured in an NFL Films Presents episode as a potential next premiere quarterback to originate from Western Pennsylvania.[4]

College career

McMahon attended college at Rutgers University. Though he started all four years (1997–2000), he sat out some games during the 1999 and 2000 seasons due to shoulder injuries.[5] He participated in the 2000 Blue–Gray Football Classic[6] and in the 2001 Senior Bowl.[7] He left school as the all-time leader in passing and he was the first Scarlet Knight quarterback to be drafted in the NFL Draft.[7]

Professional career

Detroit Lions

McMahon was drafted in the fifth round (149th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions,[5] who had traded their sixth- and seventh-round picks to the New England Patriots to take him.[7] The Patriots used those picks to select tight end Arther Love and kicker Owen Pochman. McMahon began the 2001 season as the third-string quarterback behind starter Charlie Batch and backup Ty Detmer.[7] However, after Batch suffered a season-ending injury during a December 2 game against the Chicago Bears, McMahon was inserted as the starting quarterback and served in that role for the Lions' first victory of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on December 16.[7] He made seven total appearances and started three games for Detroit in his rookie campaign.

The Lions drafted University of Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington with the third overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, but McMahon was named the starting quarterback to begin the 2002 season.[8] After two straight losses as the starter, McMahon was benched in favor of Harrington before the third game of the season.[9] McMahon took over in the last three games of the season due to Harrington having an irregular heartbeat.[10][11] McMahon began the 2003 season as the backup to Harrington,[12] and only saw action in two games during the season.[13] The Lions re-signed McMahon to a one-year contract on April 1, 2004.[14] In 2004, he was again the backup to Harrington,[15] and played in one game to replace him.[16]

Philadelphia Eagles

McMahon signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 12, 2005,[17] reuniting him with former Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg, who was now working as the Eagles' assistant head coach.

McMahon started the 2005 season as the third-string quarterback behind starter Donovan McNabb and backup Koy Detmer.[18] With McNabb undergoing season-ending sports hernia surgery following a November 14 game against the Dallas Cowboys, McMahon took over the reins of the Eagles for the remainder of the season. On December 24, 2005, he became the first Eagles quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in a single game since Randall Cunningham in 1992. After taking over for McNabb, McMahon compiled a record of two wins and five losses in the games he started. His quarterback rating was 55.2 for the season. He was released on March 20, 2006, three days after the team signed quarterback Jeff Garcia.[19]

Minnesota Vikings

McMahon was signed to a two-year contract by the Minnesota Vikings on March 23, 2006, a move which reunited him with then-Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who was previously the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.[20] McMahon lost a training camp battle for the third-string job with fellow quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger. He was cut on September 2, 2006,[21] after posting a 23.7 passer rating in the preseason, the second worst rating in the league. He was worked out by the Cleveland Browns a few days later but not signed.

Canadian Football League

On February 20, 2007, McMahon signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.[22] McMahon started the 2007 CFL season as the third-string quarterback despite a strong showing in the preseason. However, an injury to Michael Bishop bumped McMahon to starting quarterback. His stint as a starter lasted only two games before being replaced by Damon Allen as the acting starting quarterback for the team.

On September 9, 2008, McMahon was traded to the Montréal Alouettes.[23] In return, the Toronto Argonauts received a sixth round draft pick in the 2009 CFL draft (used to select WR Tyler Scott). McMahon was cut on October 15 without having appeared in a game.

Later career

McMahon signed with the California Redwoods of the United Football League in 2009, and played for the Virginia Destroyers from 2011 to 2012.

On March 28, 2013, McMahon signed with the Swedish team Uppsala 86ers.[24]

On June 1, 2013, in the season opener against the Carlstad Crusaders, McMahon sustained injuries to several ligaments of the knee and was later ruled out for the season having taken only two snaps for his new team.


  1. ^ "Former North Hills star Arrington heads WPIAL hall of fame class - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". March 30, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "McMahon commits to Rutgers". Beaver County Times. November 8, 1996. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Adamski, Chris (August 30, 2007). "McMahon enjoys life north of border". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Van Fulpen, Justin (November 30, 2001). "McMahon: Lions Quarterback of the Future". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Lions say they're happy with draftees". Ludington Daily News. April 20, 2001. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "McMahon to play in Blue-Gray". Beaver County Times. December 19, 2000. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e Bires, Mike (December 20, 2001). "Coming home: Lions' McMahon returns to Pittsburgh". Beaver County Times. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  8. ^ "Lions, McMahon winners as final preseason game". Ludington Daily News. August 30, 2002. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  9. ^ Lage, Larry (September 19, 2002). "Harrington will start at quarterback for Lions on Sunday against Green Bay". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Pate, Eric T. (December 16, 2002). "Heartbeat sidelines Harrington". Toledo Blade. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  11. ^ "Lions quarterback Mike McMahon waits for his shot". The Argus-Press. August 3, 2003. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "Harrington: Lions' No. 1 gets chance to meet Browns' new No. 1 QB". Toledo Blade. August 23, 2003. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  13. ^ "Mike McMahon 2003 Game Log". Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "Lions keep McMahon". Toledo Blade. April 1, 2004. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  15. ^ "McMahon treasures chance to show talent". Toledo Blade. September 2, 2004. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  16. ^ "Lions agree to terms with QB Garcia". The Argus-Press. March 12, 2005. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "Eagles sign McMahon". The Victoria Advocate. March 12, 2005. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  18. ^ Patton, Steve (November 17, 2005). "McMahon has leg up on Detmer". Reading Eagle. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  19. ^ "Harrington released by Lions". The Free Lance-Star. March 21, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  20. ^ "Dallas signs ex-Indianapolis kicker Vanderjagt to a three-year deal". The Day. March 24, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  21. ^ Wilner, Barry (September 3, 2006). "Big-Name NFL Offensive Players Released". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  22. ^ "Former NFL QB Mike McMahon signs with Argos". February 20, 2007. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  23. ^ "Als get QB McMahon from Argonauts". CBC Sports. September 9, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  24. ^ "Meriterad NFL-spelare till Uppsala". Swedish Football Network. March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2012.