LeBron James should be in Heat training camp, but because he’s got more time on his hands he sounds a little bored.
Which led him to tweeting about when an NFL team could sign a free agent the other day. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll picked up on that and went so far as Carroll getting a LeBron jersey made (with a kicker’s number, but we’ll let that go).
But it’s an intriguing question — could LeBron transfer his skills to the gridiron? Fox Sports Ohio asked a few players.
“It wouldn’t be easy,” Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall said. “I recommend he keep his NBA contract and just play the Madden video games if he misses football.”
LeBron’s athleticism is not in question. He’s listed at 6’8” and 250 pounds, and when you see him in an NBA locker room he’s one of only a handful of guys you see and think “he has an NFL body.” You could see him as an explosive tight end with soft hands who would be nearly impossible to stop on a high ball in the end zone. Other basketball guys have made the transition to NFL tight end — Antonio Gates and Jermichael Finley currently.
But there’s that whole issue of contact. LeBron powers through arms while driving to the hoop, but a hit from a 260-pound linebacker in pads is a few levels up the pain meter. Another Bengals defensive back, Chris Crocker, played for the Browns at the same time LeBron was with the Cavs and saw him a lot.
“There aren’t many guys with the athleticism and strength LeBron has in any sport,” Crocker said. “But I also think guys pick the sports they pick for a reason. Just like (Chad) Ochocinco thinks he’s a soccer player until he gets up close and sees how skilled pro soccer players really are, there’s nothing easy about the NFL.”
In the end, we all know this is not going to happen. There are at least $15 million reasons why (the difference between what LeBron makes in the NBA and would make in the NFL).