Even if LeBron James switched to playing football, Broncos would not want him

Ronald Martinez

What if LeBron James played in the NFL? Could the Broncos use him?

Star Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James has decided to opt-out of the final year of his contract, making him a free agent. This doesn't mean that he won't return to the Heat with a new deal, but that's just one of his many options.

Humorously, many sports outside of the NBA have made open invitations to LeBron to switch sports, ranging from the US Men's National Soccer Team to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and, yes, even the NFL:

It's something that's been talked about for years: Could LeBron James play in the NFL?

The short answer is simple: no. There's no way James would be a superstar in the NFL.

Yes, he played wide receiver in high school. Yes, he's a freak athlete. Yes, he has a great tight end build.

No, basketball and football are not comparable. No, NBA stars (of LeBron's height) do not easily transition to NFL starters. No, being 6-foot, 8-inches tall would not help his cause in the long run (can you say safety shot to the knees?). With his lengthy height and lack of football experience, James would likely be prone to injury in the NFL.

As Bill Barnwell of Grantland sees it, James would not make for a good tight end in today's NFL. Rather, he would be better off as a hybrid-type player. No NFL team is going to take the time to groom him, though.

Let's pretend for the sake of conversation, though, that James could play tight end in the NFL. Would he be a fit for Denver, as Kyle sarcastically suggested on Twitter?

Probably not.

Julius Thomas is coming off a career year and negotiating a new contract with the team. Behind Thomas, the Broncos have veterans Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme—who are both reliable when called upon—and fellow youngster Virgil Green, who may be on the verge of a breakout season.

That's four capable tight ends to work with and we haven't even mentioned Gerell Robinson, who remains a sleeper to watch. Even if the Broncos do not bring back all five of those TEs, there's no room for LeBron in Denver.

All that, of course, is assuming James could play in the NFL. He couldn't, and he won't.

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