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Odell Beckham Jr. practices for first time with Browns as OTAs begin

In gold cleats, a white No. 13 jersey and plain orange helmet, Odell Beckham Jr. caught passes from Baker Mayfield on Tuesday in Berea.

Cross another first off the star receiver’s to-do list.

Beckham practiced for the first time with the Browns as organized team activities began. He attended the first day of the voluntary offseason program April 1 and hadn’t been back until Monday.

Beckham, who was acquired March 13 in a trade with the New York Giants, had been training in Los Angeles as well as enjoying the offseason.


He took the field with his new teammates — and an old one in best friend Jarvis Landry — as the Browns kicked off OTAs, which will consist of 10 practices over the next three weeks leading up to mandatory minicamp June 4-6. Beckham posted pictures on Instagram after the session.

The media weren’t allowed at practice Tuesday but will be able to watch Wednesday. It’s uncertain how much of the OTAs Beckham will attend.

Running back Duke Johnson didn’t practice Tuesday, according to a league source.

But another source told The Chronicle-Telegram that Johnson would attend the OTAs after skipping the first six weeks of the voluntary program, including a minicamp. His agent, Kristin Campbell, had requested a trade before the draft.

General manager John Dorsey listened to offers, didn’t get one to his satisfaction and has repeatedly said Johnson will play a key role for the Browns this season.

Johnson was frustrated by a diminished role last season, then was further upset when the Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt in February. Hunt will begin the season serving an eight-game league suspension but is expected to take Johnson’s playing time when eligible.

“I have said this for like a month now, I don’t know where all this trade talk started happening. People just assumed that we are going to trade him because we signed another good football player,” coach Freddie Kitchens said last month following the draft. “Me, personally, I like good football players and I like as many of them as we can get. Then it is our job to get them the ball and to help to enable them to help us win in whatever role that is.

“Duke Johnson is on this football team, Duke Johnson will have a vital role in this football team and Duke Johnson will help us win football games. Am I surprised that he’s still here? No, not one bit.”

Kitchens said he wasn’t worried about mending fences with Johnson.

“I can just tell him what his role is and show him when he gets here,” Kitchens said. “All the rest of that is up to him and what he decides to do. My decision is not based on how he feels, my decision is based on what is best for the Cleveland Browns and this organization.

“At this present time, it is best for Duke Johnson to be a member of the Cleveland Browns and everybody feels that way. Him asking for a trade and stuff like that, it doesn’t matter to me. He is a Cleveland Brown. If he shows up, Duke is the type of guy that is going to show up and he is going to do his job. He is going to do his job well. That is all I can ask for as a coach. His opinions and his demands and stuff like that, I’m not impacted by that one bit.”

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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