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Patriots’ star Julian Edelman reacts to Saints’ recruiting Zion Williamson

Julian

Sean Payton couldn’t help but get caught in the excitement about Zion Williamson coming to New Orleans. Wednesday, the Saints’ coach on posted a Twitter message where he said he “Had a thought…”

Included in the message was a photo illustration that showed the former Duke basketball superstar wearing a Saints uniform with the same jersey No. 1 he sported for the Blue Devils.

Don’t count Patriots receiver Julian Edelman among those that appreciated Payton’s jokes, though. In fact, Edelman had his own “thoughts.”

Payton is not the first coach to consider Williamson’s fit on the football field. Eric Mateos was a tight ends coach under then-interim LSU football coach Ed Orgeron when he offered Williamson a football scholarship in 2016.

“I thought, hell, why not, he’s probably the best damn tight end to ever live,” Mateos told ESPN in November.

The former LSU assistant is now an offensive line coach at BYU. Mateos said in November he offered Williamson the scholarship after seeing some of his dunk videos on YouTube that first drew attention to the South Carolina native. Mateos made the offer with little expectation that it would amount to much.

“Honestly, I just thought it would be really fun and would be good exposure for LSU if we offered him for football,” he told ESPN. “Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be too (interested).”

Now, with the Pelicans unexpectedly landing the No. 1 spot in the upcoming NBA Draft, Payton will soon have nothing more than a parking lot between the two team facilities distancing him from Williamson, who averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds during his lone season at Duke.