As it turns out, there was real fire accompanying the smoke coming from the Patriots-Odell Beckham Jr. rumors in November.
New England was reported as a potential landing spot after the star receiver was released from the Cleveland Browns. In fact, the Patriots at one point were considered the favorites to sign Beckham, who wound up joining the Los Angeles Rams.
So, how close was Beckham to choosing the Patriots?
“Very,” he told reporters during Monday’s virtual Super Bowl LVI media availability. “Very, very very.”
Beckham then offered insight into his conversations with Bill Belichick.
“I don’t think I (told) him on the phone,” he said. “But I was (thinking), ‘You know, if this was three years ago, it would’ve been ideal, because Tom (Brady) is one of my favorites.’ I know I posted a video a long time (ago) of just the passion and the fire that Tom has, and there’s a bunch of clips cutting to me doing similar things. And mine gets misconstrued for something else, and his is something else, and it’s just like, actually I love football that much that I’ll punch a water cooler. Like, I care that much for this game.
” … And for a guy, a coach like Bill Belichick, who I’ve admired for years and I’ve seen, and, just, always was like, ‘Man, someday I’m gonna play for Bill Belichick.’ … For him to call me; to be able to just sit down on the phone and talk football — I mean, it’s like, what more could you ask for? So, I was very close (to joining Patriots). That’s one of the teams that was in there. But I just, I felt like (Los Angeles) was home, that this was right.”
Earlier in his news conference, Beckham also confirmed that the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were among the teams he was considering.
The 29-year-old ultimately joined the Rams due to his desire to join a team ready to compete for a Super Bowl championship. Obviously, he made the right choice.
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