LeBron James Says Cowboys, Seahawks Offered Him NFL Contracts During 2011 NBA Lockout

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up prior to a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on March 20, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Michael Owens/Getty Images

LeBron James said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll both offered him an NFL contract during the 2011 NBA lockout.

James confirmed the proposals during an appearance with Peyton and Eli Manning on ESPN's Monday Night Football "Manning Cast":

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

"I still got the jersey too, that Jerry [Jones] and Pete Carroll sent me from 2011."<br><br>Imagine LeBron on the Cowboys or Seahawks 😳 <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> <a href="https://t.co/boMLsl4Jes">pic.twitter.com/boMLsl4Jes</a>

The NBA's longtime gold standard, who was a member of the Miami Heat at the time of the lockout, already owned two MVPs but hadn't captured his first NBA title yet.

James would have been available for a majority of the 2011 NFL season, as the NBA's lockout ran from July 1 to Dec. 8 before the sides were able to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement. The 2011-12 NBA campaign was reduced from 82 to 66 games.

The Heat proceeded to win the 2012 NBA championship, the first of back-to-back titles, and the 17-time All-Star has since added two more rings from 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers, his current team.

While it doesn't sound like James ever came too close to making the NFL jump, that didn't stop Peyton from dreaming about having the 6'9", 250-pounder as an outside target, per Steve Gardner of USA Today.

"I would have thrown so many touchdowns to LeBron," Manning said. "Put him out wide, throw the fade, jump ball ... 75 touchdowns."

Even though the Cowboys and Seahawks were the two teams to offer contracts at the time, if he'd have declared his intention to play football during the lockout, you can bet a lot more teams would have jumped in with lucrative offers, too.