Quarterback Baker Mayfield is staying home from organized team activities again this week but he’s going to be working.
Mayfield is hosting Browns receivers and tight ends for training sessions in Austin, Texas, a league source confirmed Monday to The Chronicle-Telegram. Cleveland.com was first to report the news.
Mayfield threw with receivers Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins and tight ends Austin Hooper and David Njoku in late April in Weston, Fla. Last offseason he also hosted the skill position players in Texas.
Njoku tweeted Monday he was in Austin.
Meanwhile, the Browns and coach Kevin Stefanski are holding the second week of OTAs in Berea from Monday through Thursday. Last week, 55 of the 90 players on the roster attended the Wednesday practice open to reporters, but nearly all of the big names on the field were on defense.
Defensive end Myles Garrett led the way and was joined by defensive tackles Malik Jackson and Andrew Billings, linebackers Anthony Walker Jr., Jacob Phillips and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, cornerbacks Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II and Greedy Williams and safeties Grant Delpit and Ronnie Harrison Jr. were on the field last week in Berea.
Mayfield and the starting offense, with the exception of fullback Andy Janovich, didn’t attend the voluntary practices.
Following the lead of center and NFL Players Association president JC Tretter, the Browns players released a statement April 15 saying they would skip the voluntary in-person workouts at team headquarters. But the players have continued to communicate with each other and Stefanski and are comfortable with teammates preparing in Berea or on their own.
“We came in and we wanted to get some work in together,” Garrett said last week of the defense. “(The offensive players) have been getting some work in together, it has just been away from the building.”
The defense could have as many as nine new starters after an offseason overhaul, so Garrett and Walker felt it was a good idea to get familiar with each other and the coaches during OTAS. The offense, on the other hand, returns all the starters and key contributors from the team that went 11-5 and won a playoff game.
Safety John Johnson III, nickelback Troy Hill and left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. attended Monday’s practice in Berea after skipping last week. Johnson and Hill signed in March as free agents, and Wills was the No. 10 pick in the draft last year.
The coaches have held virtual meetings since April 17, and Stefanski said last week attendance had been “very good.” He stressed numerous times the OTAs are voluntary.
“This is a voluntary program. We mean that,” he said. “If they choose to come here, we want to make sure it is a safe place for them to get instruction from their coaches.”
He appreciates the players who participate.
“We really value the work that you can get done in a walkthrough and the work you can get done in these individual periods, and these virtual meetings are a huge component to this,” he said.
The OTAs lead into mandatory minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday. Everyone is expected to attend. The players are then off until training camp in late July.