Odell Beckham Jr. is where he's never been before: the Super Bowl.
He nearly wasn't. A number of interested teams pursued Beckham following his release from the Cleveland Browns during the 2021 regular season, including the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. Beckham was asked Monday about just how close he came to signing with a couple of those clubs, and the answer was the same: Very close.
"I was close. Very close," Beckham said of potentially joining the Saints. "It just didn't feel like the right time. Right place. Wrong time."
Beckham hopping on board with the Saints would have meant a homecoming for the New Orleans-area native. Joining the Patriots would have meant playing for a legendary coach in Bill Belichick.
Beckham said he'd played the hypothetical game in which he'd imagined teaming with Tom Brady in New England a few years ago, but ultimately that didn't come to fruition. Instead of answering a call from Belichick that would lead to Beckham joining the Patriots, he chose the Rams, a team coached by someone with whom Beckham said he's had a relationship "for years."
Beckham got off to a slow start but ended up playing a key role for the Rams in their run to Super Bowl LVI. It's a destination he likely wouldn't have reached with New Orleans, which missed the playoffs, and New England, which was blown out of Super Wild Card Weekend by a superior Buffalo Bills squad.
In the end, Beckham trusted his intuition when deciding where he'd next play football. It's paid off with a trip to the Super Bowl.
"All of the things, all of the signs ... when it got quiet, it's just something about this place that called," Beckham said of Los Angeles. "Aside from Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller. ... It just felt right in my heart and it felt right in my gut. It felt like other things I was trying to make work and this was the one that was calling me."
We'll see Sunday whether that call will lead him to the celebratory stage at SoFi Stadium.