By Josh Clark and Jordan Cohn
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - LeBron James in the NFL? That idea was a lot closer to becoming a reality than anyone ever thought.
James revealed on The Uninterupted Monday night that he began training to become a football player when the NBA was in the midst of a lockout in 2011.
"The thoughts came into my mind," James said of a potential run at the NFL. His agent and business parter Maverick Carter then said that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sent James a contract offer that is now framed in the future Hall of Famer's office.
The Los Angeles Clippers coach that not only would James be a good or even a great football player, but instead, he said LeBron could be "the greatest football player ever" if it weren't for basketball.
James has the size, obviously. At 6'9", 250 pounds, he'd be way taller than your average tight end. Some of the biggest bodies currently in the league at that position include the 6'7", 265-lb. Jimmy Graham (who notably had a college basketball career, if you didn't know from the hundreds of times that's been mentioned on broadcasts), the 6'7", 250-lb. Jesse James and the 6'8", 268-lb. Levine Toilolo. Surprisingly, given his dimension, Toilolo has made a minimal impact as a receiver, with a career high 264 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.
As pointed out by Mihir Bhagat of Bleacher Report, LeBron's 4.92 40-yard dash time pales in comparison to offensive threats around the NFL. A good time for a wide receiver can be considered anything below 4.50 seconds, though bigger-bodied tight ends have found success with slower times. The 6'6" Rob Gronkowski recorded a 4.68 time at the 2010 NFL Combine, while guys like Kyle Rudolph, Hunter Henry and Zach Ertz all ran around the 4.80 mark and have been incredibly successful.
His catching ability would obviously be a necessity in order to find success, and his durability and tolerance of big hits -- which we'd have to imagine he'd take quite frequently on seams and jump balls -- would be of peak importance.
Lance Zierlein, a foremost draft expert and analyst with NFL.com and SportsMap.com, says that "LeBron's elite size, athletic talent, play traits, and competitive nature would make him a Pro Bowler very quickly -- even if he stepped into the NFL at the age of 33 or 34."
So, we're left to wonder what could have been for James on the football field. But something tells us he doesn't have any regrets about the way things turned out.