The Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. era begins in earnest Monday in Cleveland.
The veteran wide receiver, acquired from the Giants on March 12, is expected to be at the NFL team’s facility and speak to the media ahead of the start of voluntary offseason workouts, the Browns confirmed to Omnisport.
The Browns are among four teams — along with the Broncos, Buccaneers and Dolphins — that will start their offseason programs this week because they’ve hired new head coaches. Four other teams that also have new coaches — the Bengals, Cardinals, Jets and Packers — will wait until next week to start their offseason work.
The boys are back! ✊ pic.twitter.com/evNm48Swhz
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 1, 2019
According to multiple reports, new Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens has been in contact with Beckham leading up to this week’s start of offseason work.
The big-play wide receiver’s arrival has sparked great expectations for the Browns, who made strides in 2018 behind rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, going 7-8-1. The Browns haven’t had a winning record since 2007, haven’t made the playoffs since 2002 and haven’t won a playoff game since 1994.
Adding Beckham to stretch defenses gives the Browns yet another weapon on a wide receiver corps that includes Beckham’s former LSU teammate and friend, Jarvis Landry, as well as Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins.
Landry led Cleveland in receiving last year with 81 catches for 976 yards but only four touchdowns. Callaway led Browns wideouts with five TDs among 43 catches for 586 yards.
In an injury-shortened 2018 season, Beckham had 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games. He missed the last four games of a tumultuous regular season with a quadriceps injury (he has missed 16 of 32 games in the last two seasons).
The 12th pick in the 2014 draft, Beckham, 26, spent his first five seasons with the Giants, during which he had 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
Beckham is scheduled to make $16.75 million in base salary in 2019, according to Spotrac, as part of a $90 million deal he signed with the Giants that runs through 2023.