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LeBron James said he 'definitely' considered signing with Cowboys or Seahawks during 2011 NBA lockout

Yahoo Sports US logo Yahoo Sports US 9/28/2021 Jack Baer

Discussion of LeBron James' football career was an inevitability when he appeared on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" Manning-cast, and he used the time to revisit a significant NBA what-if.

During the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game, the Los Angeles Lakers star was asked by Eli Manning if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had really offered him an NFL contract during the 2011 NBA lockout.

James confirmed Jones offered him a deal and added that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll also discussed bringing him aboard:

James' story:

"That's true. Jerry Jones offered me a contract, Pete Carroll did as well in Seattle during our lockout time. It definitely got my blood flowing again, my mind racing again about the game of football, being out there on Sundays. We were able to get a deal done in the NBA and I was back on the court in no time, but I definitely thought about it. 

"I still got the jersey too, that Jerry and Pete Carroll sent me from 2011."

The Cowboys and Seahawks' interest in James had been previously reported, but James saying he considered signing with a team in another sport again makes you wonder what could have been.

James' football career is well-documented; he was a first-team all-state wide receiver at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School and had interest from FBS programs, but made the correct decision to focus on basketball in his senior year. Footage of his football career still exists, and it looks about how you would expect:

Even as his star rose through the years, James maintained an interest in his other sport. He later told The Athletic he was confident he would have made the roster had he agreed to a deal with either Jones or Carroll, but was talked out of it by his inner circle.

From The Athletic:

“I would have made the team,” he said. “I would have tried out, but I would have made the team. One thing about it, I don’t mind working for something, so if I would have had to try out for the Cowboys or the Seahawks, or if I’d have stayed home and went back home to Cleveland, I’d have tried (out), but I would have made the team. I just know what I’m capable of doing on the football field. Especially at that age.”

As much as James might have wanted to give football another try, it's probably for the best he listened to the people around him. It's important to remember this was a time James still hadn't won an NBA title, and you never know what can happen to a player's body on a football field, especially a target as big as James.

The what-ifs are still tantalizing. Peyton Manning even joked he would have thrown 75 touchdowns in a year if he had James as a red zone target.


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