Then he left.
But Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said he wasn’t worried that his new wide receiver wasn’t going to be an every-day participant in their program which kicked off this week.
Kitchens said he understood that would be the case shortly after Beckham was acquired in a trade with the Giants.
“Like I told you guys a couple of weeks ago, Odell did not know where he was going to be,” Kitchens said. “He did not know that he was going to be in Cleveland up until three weeks ago now. He has some things to tie up, but he thought that it was important enough to be here today so he was here for his teammates, for himself and for his coaches and things like that. My hat is off to him. He told me something a couple of weeks ago, and he made it work. He had to go through some hoops to get here, but it was important enough for him to be here. . . .
“We do not really know specifics right now, but he will not be here continually right now. He will be back and forth, but he has some things he has to tie up, and we are getting all of that in order now.”
Beckham was in Europe when the trade happened on March 12, and just got back in the country recently. Had be stayed with the Giants, his program wasn’t going to start until April 15, but wanted to show up for the first day of school (and the press conference and a chance to put on a better-looking hat).
“That was Odell’s [choice]. This is all voluntary,” Kitchens said. “I did not encourage anything. Odell knows what is at stake. He knows what he needs to be here for. Do not take offense to this, the media is never going to form a line in the sand between me and a player or a player and his teammates. This is strictly voluntary. If we wanted to critique people for not coming and coming, then we should make it mandatory as a league. It is not mandatory. As far as like, would I hold a grudge if he is not going to come? No, I would not. There is never going to be a line drawn in the sand from the media in any instance with any player of mine.”
Beckham was also a sometimes-attender when he was with the Giants. In 2017, he spent most of the time training on his own in Los Angeles, arriving for the mandatory minicamp. Last year, he showed up for the start of coach Pat Shurmur’s program, but was then in and out.
The workouts are voluntary and coaches can’t compel guys to show up. But having Beckham on hand Monday helped create some excitement, which the Browns hope carries over.