Dan Carter has revealed he was tempted by the idea of trying his luck in the NFL following talks with the New England Patriots in 2013.
New Zealand fly-half Carter brought his international career to an end in style last month as he helped the All Blacks defend the Rugby World Cup with victory over Australia in the final at Twickenham.
The 33-year-old, duly named as World Rugby's Player of the Year, will continue to play for Racing 92 in France.
However, when an injured Carter was taking a sabbatical two years ago, he toured the Patriots' facilities and found the American Football franchise were keen on recruiting him to their ranks.
In an extract from his autobiography that is being exclusively serialised by the Telegraph, Carter wrote: "The next thing I knew, a couple of scouts came out, and asked, 'Where are your boots?' They thought I was there to try out for the team!
"I was floored, and a little wistful. Part of me would have liked nothing more than to give it a shot but I had just torn my Achilles tendon, and was months away from being able to kick again."
Discussing his subsequent meeting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Carter added: "We spent 10 or 15 minutes talking through the realities of the sport, and whether it was plausible for me to make the transition.
"If I'm honest, my interest was piqued a little. I don't think any competitive athlete could walk into an environment like that, be received in that way, and not feel a desire to rise to the challenge. Who knows what I might have done had I not sustained that injury at Twickenham [earlier in the year]?"
Carter also had a discussion with the Patriots' head of special teams.
"I've worked with some incredible kicking coaches over the years but we had never gone into anything like this level of precision," he explained.
"At the end of the session, he handed me a beautiful NFL game ball and told me that he wanted to see tape from me in six months. Even though I was contracted to the end of 2015, they seemed willing to wait. He gave me a timeline for receiving the tape, trying out, and team selection. I walked away with my head spinning.
"The next time I bumped into Robert Kraft was at the Oscars later that year. He surprised me by not only remembering who I was, but asking whether I'd made that tape for his scouts. I laughed it off, but I was flattered that he was still interested. The idea was still floating in my mind a little."