When Odell Beckham Jr. was released from the Cleveland Browns in November, he immediately became a highly coveted free agent.
Along with the Los Angeles Rams, the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers all showed interest in signing the talented wide receiver.
Beckham was focused on joining a contender and at one point the Patriots were considered the favorite to sign himbefore he ultimately chose the Rams.
While there were a lot of conflicting reports about his next destination, Beckham recently revealed he was incredibly close to making Foxboro his new home, via CBS Boston:
“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 has long been a fan of future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, so he told the Patriots head coach he would have jumped at an opportunity to play with them.
However, the Patriots are now quarterbacked by rookie Mac Jones while Brady was playing his final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so it became a less appealing spot for Beckham.
Beckham still appreciated the opportunity to talk with Belichick and that was almost enough to sway him to joining the Patriots, but he still ultimately felt like the Rams were the best destination for him:
“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.”
With the Rams now preparing for Super Bowl LVI, it is clear Beckham made the right decision.
The three-time Pro Bowler took over as the team’s second wideout after the injury to Robert Woods and he played an important role in helping the Rams defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Beckham will be a free agent again after this offseason so he could get another chance to join Belichick with a more proven Jones, but Beckham has been loving his time in L.A. and will likely look to continue with the organization.
Beckham on Rams: ‘Everything about this place is right’
Beckham had a lot of questions he needed to answer about his talent level after being released, but so far he has proven he can still perform at a high level.
The 2014 Rookie of the Year believes his success in L.A. after his forgettable experience in Cleveland is partly because the Rams have a culture that pushes him to succeed with a plan on how to get it done.