This Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. will be playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, but his first trip to the big game almost didn’t happen because he almost signed with another team during his brief free agency in November.
After being cut by the Browns on Nov. 5, the Los Angeles Rams weren’t the only team that went after Beckham. According to the receiver, multiple teams reached out and the crazy thing is that he actually came close to signing with two of them. During his Super Bowl Media Night interview on Monday, Beckham revealed the identities of those two teams.
The first one? The Saints.
“I was close, very close,” Beckham said of signing in New Orleans, via the Saintswire. “It just didn’t feel like the right time. Right place, wrong time.”
At the time of Beckham’s free agency, the Saints were 5-2 and just a half game out of first place in the NFC South, but it’s possible Beckham didn’t like the fit because of the quarterback situation in New Orleans. Just five days before Beckham became a free agent, the Saints had lost Jameis Winston to a season-ending knee injury.
After turning down the Saints, Beckham also talked to the Patriots and New England wanted him badly enough that Bill Belichick called the receiver himself.
“I don’t think I joked with him on the phone,” Beckham said, via MassLive.com. “But I was like, if this was three years ago, it would have been ideal. Because Tom [Brady] is one of the — he’s one of my favorites.”
The fact that Belichick reached out was almost enough to get Beckham to sign in New England.
“For a guy, coach like Bill Belichick, who’ve all admired for years and I’ve seen and just always was like, ‘Man, one day, I’m gonna play for Bill Belichick.’ For him to call me, to be able to just sit down on the phone with him and talk football, I mean, what more could you ask for?” Beckham said. “So, I was very close. That was one of the teams that was in there. But I felt like [Los Angeles] was home.”
In the end, Beckham would land with the Rams and his story is now on the verge of having a happy ending. Beckham has averaged nearly 80 receiving yards per game during the Rams run to the Super Bowl and if he has another big game on Sunday, that might be enough to help propel the team to a Super Bowl title for just the second time in franchise history.