Seahawks coach Carroll once offered LeBron NFL contract


As if NBA superstar LeBron James wasn't a thorn in the side of enough Bay Area teams already. 

The Los Angeles Lakers star notoriously has been one of the biggest, most physically gifted players on the court throughout his illustrious 18-year career. 

Players like LeBron, who are so physically gifted and athletic are often met with debate surrounding which of the other major sports they could have realistically competed in. When you think of two-sport athletes, players such as Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Michael Jordan, and recently Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray come to mind.  

There has been plenty of speculation that LeBron has the physical capabilities of playing in the NFL, and joining one of the most exclusive clubs an athlete can join.

And he almost did...

During the 2011 NBA lockout, LeBron received interest from multiple NFL teams, including the 49ers' archrival Seattle Seahawks, as James confirmed on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast with Peyton and Eli Manning. 

It was well known that the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones had serious interest, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed James' claim Monday night. 

“I can’t remember the specifics of that, but you can see why I would, there’s been plenty of evidence,” Carroll told reporters Wednesday (h/t Seattle Times). “I think we were having fun with it at the time, but I’m sure there were some serious thoughts in my head that it could be a good idea.”


Many have speculated that LeBron could play tight end, which makes sense given his size, stature, and athleticism. Carroll believes it would have been fun to see what the NBA star could do. 

“I don’t know what he couldn’t do,” Carroll continued. “He’s an all-time athlete and competitor. It’s not the same game, it doesn’t mean it necessarily carries over, of course, but it would have been fun to try to find out, I know that.” 

RELATED: Behind 49ers' mispronunciation of Lance's personnel grouping

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner was asked about the possibility of James playing in the NFL, and how he would defend against him. 

“He would’ve been a big target," Wagner said. "If I got in the red zone, I would have just thrown it up and let him use that 40-something-inch vertical to go catch the ball."

“I watched that interview. One of the reasons he stopped playing football is because he kept getting hit. Basketball — you don’t get hit in basketball. That’s a nice life over there.”

We'll probably never see LeBron between the lines on an NFL field, let alone wearing a Seahawks jersey. Whether or not he would have been a formidable opponent for the 49ers remains to be seen. Standing at 6-foot-9 though, we could only imagine what that size could allow him to do. 

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast