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Odell Beckham was “very, very, very, very” close to signing with the Patriots

Tom Brady announced he officially is retiring after 22 NFL seasons with the Buccaneers and Patriots. Mike Florio examines everything there is to know, including why there was no mention of the Patriots.

Odell Beckham Jr. respects Bill Belichick. Bill Belichick respects Odell Beckham Jr.

So how close was the Rams receiver to signing with Belichick’s Patriots?

“Very. Very, very, very,” Beckham said Monday.

Belichick called Beckham after the Browns released the star player Nov. 6. The Patriots didn’t have much cap space, but they had big interest in Beckham.

“I don’t think I joked with (Belichick) on the phone, but I was (feeling) like, ‘You know, if this was three years ago, it would have been ideal. You know?” Beckham said. “Because Tom (Brady), he’s one of my favorites.”

The Buccaneers, who had Brady as their quarterback, didn’t want Beckham because they had Antonio Brown at the time. So a week after his release, Beckham signed with the Rams, with Beckham explaining Los Angeles was “calling me.”

“To be able to just sit down on the phone with him and talk football, it was like what more could you ask for? So I was very close (to signing),” Beckham said. “That was one of the teams that was in there, but I just felt like this was home. I felt like this was right. And coach (Sean) McVay, I’ve had a relationship with him for years. I joked with big (Rams offensive tackle Andrew) Whitworth that this was (done) years ago.”

Now, Beckham is in his first Super Bowl, and a big reason with 19 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown in three postseason games.