LeBron James revealed that he actually received two NFL contract offers during the 2011 NBA lockout. The revelation comes after a recent interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, in which Smith insinuated that the four-time MVP was not offered an NFL contract by any team.
LeBron James revealed in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he actually got 2 NFL contract offers during the 2011 NBA Lockout.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the most athletic basketball players of all time. His unique combination of height and speed made him one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but it also had the potential to transfer to the gridiron. In high school, James was a powerful and intimidating tight end, but he dropped out after his junior year to concentrate on his real passion on the floor. It is a well-known tale that when the NBA lockout occurred in 2011, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered James a place on America’s Team. What James hasn’t disclosed before is that he was also offered a second NFL contract that year.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images of LeBron James .
When it became unclear how long the 2011 NBA lockout would continue, several players began preparing alternative arrangements in case the season (or the league) did not resume.
LeBron James was one of those players. Jerry Jones offered the former prep tight end a deal to play for the Cowboys if the NBA season didn’t resume, according to the former prep tight end.
James even went so far as to describe how he got into contact sports training. He and his training group reportedly began timed his 40-yard sprint, increasing his bench press, and even hitting the tackling sled.
With quarterback Tony Romo and coach Jason Garrett, the 2011 Cowboys completed the season 8-8. At the tight end position, they had Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett.
However, the ‘Boys were just a game behind the NFC East-winning New York Giants that season. Perhaps having James as a red-zone target would have helped them win one more game and make the playoffs.
Pete Carroll offered James a deal as well, James informed Eli and Peyton Manning.
In the second quarter of Monday Night Football’s “ManningCast” of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles game, the Laker joined former quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning to watch the game.
Eli mentioned the tale of Jerry Jones giving James a contract in 2011. He questioned James whether he “had any inclinations” to “put the uniform on” during that time. James said that he did. Then he revealed that the Cowboys offer wasn’t the only one he received ten years ago:
That is correct. I was offered a contract by Jerry Jones. Also, during our lockout, Pete Carroll performed great in Seattle, and it certainly had my blood pumping and my head racing, thinking about football and being out there on Sundays. Although we were able to work out a contract with the NBA, and I was back on the floor in no time, but it was something I had considered. Jerry and Pete Carroll gave me a jersey in 2011, and I still have it.
On LeBron James’ NFL offers
Even tight end LeBron James may not have helped Carroll’s Seahawks that season, as Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst teamed to lead Carroll’s Seahawks to a 7-9 record.
However, it’s entertaining to speculate about the possibility of James making the move to the NFL and staying with it. He would have paired up with Russell Wilson the next season, and that might have been intriguing.
The NBA great would not have been the NFL’s tallest player.
LeBron James is listed as 6-foot-9 on the Lakers’ website. If he had taken Jerry Jones or Pete Carroll’s offer, he would have been among the NFL’s top five tallest players, but he is three inches shorter of the all-time tallest player.
Richard Sligh, a defensive lineman, holds the record for being the tallest player to ever play the game at the top level.
According to NCCUEaglesPride.com, Sligh grew raised in Newberry County, South Carolina, and attended North Carolina Central University from 1962 to 1964. The Oakland Raiders picked the big man in the 10th round of the 1967 NFL Draft, at 7 feet and 300 pounds.
Although the defensive lineman only played one season in the NFL, it was a successful one for the club. The Raiders made it all the way to Super Bowl 2 thanks to QB Daryle Lamonica, WR Fred Biletnikoff, and CB Willie Brown. The Silver and Black, unfortunately for Sligh and his teammates, lost the championship game 33-14 to the Green Bay Packers.
Sligh died in 2008 at the age of 64, yet he is still the all-time tallest NFL player. Even if LeBron James chose to play in 2011, he would still be there.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Terry Bradshaw (Related) Mike McCarthy was summoned, and the Dallas Cowboys coach listened: ‘You’re Gonna Kill Prescott.’
LeBron James has been a professional basketball player for over a decade now, but he was not always playing the sport. In 2011, NBA players were locked out of their jobs and forced to find work elsewhere. During this time, LeBron received 2 NFL contract offers from the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins. Reference: when did lebron james start playing basketball.
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