BOSTON (CBS) -- It feels like ancient history now, but there was a time just a few short months ago that the NFL was held hostage by Odellmania. The receiver had been released by the Browns and had a decision to make on his next home, ultimately selecting the Los Angeles Rams.
It worked out, both personally (Beckham had five touchdown catches in eight regular-season games, and he has 236 receiving yards and a touchdown this postseason) and for the team, as the Rams are gearing up to play in Sunday night's Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Yet on Monday, when speaking to the media, Odell Beckham Jr. admitted that he was awfully close to being swayed by a conversation with Bill Belichick to join the Patriots. And if Tom Brady was still the New England QB, OBJ would have likely made the move to Foxboro.
"Very. Very, very, very," Beckham said when asked how close he came to signing with the Patriots. "I don't think I joked with [Belichick] on the phone, but I was like, 'You know, if this was three years ago, it would've been ideal.' Because Tom is one of the, he's one of my favorite."
Beckham said he's long felt a kinship with Brady, even though the quarterback often got praised for his fiery displays of emotion while Beckham would often get criticized.
Of course, Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 season, and the Patriots were 5-4 and being led by rookie QB Mac Jones when Beckham made his free-agent decision to go to the Rams.
"For a guy, coach, like Bill Belichick, who I've 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, it's like, 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 this was home. I felt like this was right."
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