Jarvis Landry

Mayfield, Wide Receivers Central To Browns’ Offseason Plans

Especially if he is able to be fully healthy at the start of next year, Baker Mayfield will play a large role in determining if the Browns can rebound from a disappointing 2021 season. Even if that’s the case, though, the team could still look very different by that time. 

[Related: Browns Plan To Keep Baker Mayfield]

Both head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry have expressed confidence in Mayfield: “It’s easy to forget… what we’ve seen with Baker over the past several years. Obviously he had his most productive season in this offense under [Stefanski in 2020]” Berry said recently. That’s one of the reasons ESPN’s Jake Trotter writes that bringing Mayfield back on his fifth year option “seems to be the most likely outcome”, another being the lack of realistic trade targets. With that said, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal adds that “acquiring someone to push” Mayfield, such as Mitchell Trubisky or Marcus Mariota, is a strong possibility as well. Mayfield will have a price tag of just under $19MM in 2022.

Meanwhile, the wide receiver position is setting up to be an area of focus. With veteran Jarvis Landry in danger of being a cap casualty – he has no guaranteed money left on his deal, leaving Trotter to write that it “feels like he has played his last snap with the Browns” – rebuilding the pass-catching corps is sure to be a priority. While the Browns should have the cap space to target at least one experienced wideout, there is a growing sense of expectation they will use the draft as a means of acquiring a true No. 1. Mel Kiper’s first mock draft has Cleveland taking Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, while Dane Brugler projects them taking Treylon Burks from Arkansas.

The two reporters are also in synch when it comes to the team’s defensive needs. Defensive tackle in particular looks to be a key area of focus, given the pending unrestricted free agency of 32-year-old Malik Jackson and the recent arrest of Malik McDowell. Trotter adds that edge rusher could also be a need, depending on what happens with Jadeveon Clowney in free agency. Just like receiver, the defensive front figures to see a significant overhaul in the coming months.

For a team that generated so many expectations heading into the 2021 season, the Browns clearly face a number of key roster decisions heading into the offseason to be able to meet them in the future.


Latest On Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry

With the Cleveland Browns officially eliminated from playoff contention by AFC results on Sunday, the time has come to start looking ahead to the offseason. Two key pieces in the upcoming evaluation process for GM Andrew Berry are quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Much of how he tries to set the team up to rebound from a disappointing 2021 season will revolve around the decisions made regarding these veterans and their contracts. 

According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns are unlikely to bring back Landry at his currently scheduled cap hit of $16.55MM. Between injuries and ongoing quarterback issues, the 30-year-old has only recorded 42 catches for 452 yards and one touchdown this year. Add that to the fact that the team would only incur a hit of $1.5MM in dead money if he were released, and it is easy to see why Cabot figures Cleveland is more likely to restructure his deal.

Cabot also adds, however, that the team may prefer to completely overhaul the top end of their receiving corps. Having already moved on from Odell Beckham Jr. midseason – a decision that seemed to sour Landry, his former LSU teammate and close friend – Berry may do the same with another expensive acquisition made prior to his arrival as GM.

As for Mayfield, a myriad of injuries are one of several reasons for the Browns’ underachieving this campaign. Cabot sees it as unlikely the Browns part ways with the former first-overall pick this spring, though. With a cap hit of $18.8MM in next year, Cleveland could use 2022 as the final “prove-it” season to decide whether or not Mayfield is worth committing to long-term. In an uncertain free agency, coupled with an underwhelming quarterback class upcoming in the draft, Cabot suspects more attention will be placed on filling roster holes elsewhere and counting on improved health along the offensive line.

The Browns play the Steelers on Monday night, and will finish the season against the AFC North champion Bengals in Week 18.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Browns Activate Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry From COVID-19 List

Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry did not practice this week, but both will be in line to play on Christmas Day. The Browns are activating Mayfield and Landry from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Mayfield tested positive for the coronavirus Dec. 15 but could not navigate the return protocol until Friday. Still, he will be expected to start against the Packers.

The Browns also activated backup Case Keenum, cornerback A.J. Green and defensive lineman Ifeadi Odengibo from the virus list for their Green Bay trip. Cleveland’s loss against Las Vegas, in a game Nick Mullens started with a host of backups at other spots, significantly diminished its playoff chances. The team was without 10 starters against the Raiders.

Some Browns remain on the virus list, including center J.C. Tretter and left tackle Jedrick Wills. Still, the Browns will be in better shape to face the Packers compared to the squad they were forced to deploy Monday.

Mayfield is still dealing with the left shoulder fracture he suffered earlier this season. The former No. 1 overall pick has dealt with other injury issues this season, but the shoulder problem will require surgery in 2022. Some of Mayfield’s numbers are well off his 2020 pace. He has thrown just 13 touchdown passes. While his completion percentage (62.8) is identical to his full-season 2020 mark and yards-per-attempt figure (7.6) up from last year, QBR slots Mayfield 25th. The metric placed the Browns starter 10th in 2020, putting him on track for a potential extension this year. Those talks have since been tabled, with a new deal unlikely until next year at least.

Browns Place Eight Players On COVID-19 List

The Browns could be seriously shorthanded for Saturday’s game against the Raiders. On Tuesday, the Browns placed wide receiver Jarvis Landry, right guard Wyatt Teller, tight end Austin Hooper, left tackle Jedrick Wills, defensive end Takkarist McKinley and guard Drew Forbes (on IR) on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Meanwhile, tight end Ross Travis and return man JoJo Natson have been placed on the practice squad COVID list. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Slater Placed On COVID-19 List]

All eight players have tested positive for the virus (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero), putting their availability in doubt. Still, as of this writing, the game is still slated to go ahead as planned on Saturday (Twitter link).

On Monday alone, 36 NFL players — including Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater — were placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list. Since then, the league has issued a memo requiring booster shots for all Tier 1 and 2 staff by Dec. 27. While players are not required to be vaccinated, coaches and trainers fall within Tier 1.

The Browns were already down three players on Sunday, including tight end David Njoku, thanks to the reserve/COVID-19 designation. Despite that, they still managed to beat the Ravens and advance to 7-6 on the year.

Browns Activate Jarvis Landry From IR

11:44am: Landry is indeed back on the Browns’ 53-man roster for Week 7. The Browns activated him from injured reserve, providing Case Keenum with a key weapon tonight.

9:56am: The Browns will be missing their all-world backfield duo and Baker Mayfield against the Broncos on Thursday night, but they should have at least one of their starting wideouts available for this game.

Jarvis Landry is likely to return from IR tonight, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. Landry has missed the past four games due a knee injury sustained on the Browns’ opening drive of their Week 2 contest. While the five-time Pro Bowler would reasonably benefit from an extra 10 days to prepare, the Browns appear prepared to deploy him to help a shorthanded offense tonight. Landry returned to practice last week.

A Landry re-emergence would be crucial for a Browns team down both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who is now on IR, and one that may not have Odell Beckham Jr. available. The shoulder injury OBJ sustained last week marked a “significant” setback, per Palmer, who notes the injury-prone pass catcher has an uphill battle to play against Denver. The Browns have yet to rule Beckham out, however.

Beckham did not practice during Cleveland’s short week but did play through the injury in the team’s loss to Arizona, catching five passes for a season-high 79 yards in Week 6. Beckham and Landry have not played together in nearly a year; Beckham suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 of last season.

Cleveland’s tackle situation appears to break down similarly. One of the team’s two starters, left tackle Jedrick Wills, is set to be available. Jack Conklin is not expected to play, Palmer tweets. Conklin logged a limited practice Wednesday but missed the Browns’ first two workouts this week. He is battling a knee injury. Swing tackle Chris Hubbard is out for the season; the Browns started rookie James Hudson at right tackle against the Cardinals.

Browns Designate Jarvis Landry For Return

The Browns have designated Jarvis Landry for return, per a club announcement. The wide receiver will be eligible to play as soon as Sunday, when the Browns face the Cardinals. 

Landry went down with a knee injury during the Browns’ Week 2 opening drive. The Browns still went on to beat the Texans 31-21, but they lost Landry for the following games against the Bears, Vikings, and Chargers. Fortunately, they got Odell Beckham Jr. back at the exact same time — he snagged five passes for 77 yards in his debut. OBJ has been quieter the last two weeks, but he should benefit from the attention that’ll be paid to Landry.

Through two games (really, one game and change), Landry has six catches off of six targets for 80 yards. He also notched a rushing touchdown — the fourth rushing TD of his career — against the Chiefs in Week 1.

Per league rules, the Browns will have a 21-day window to activate Landry. It’s a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, but there’s no reason to think that Landry won’t return in the coming days. If he can’t go against the Cardinals, he’ll likely be ready for Week 7 against the Broncos.

Browns Place Jarvis Landry On IR

The Browns have placed wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the injured reserve list, per a club announcement. The good is that this should be a short-term IR stint as Landry recovers from his MCL sprain. 

Landry went down with a knee injury during the Browns’ opening drive on Sunday and did not return. The Browns still went on to beat the Texans 31-21, but Landry’s injured knee will rule him out for the Bears this week. Per league rules, Landry must sit out for at least the next two games before retaking the field.

On the plus side, the Browns should have Odell Beckham Jr. back in action this week. Barring any additional setbacks, he’ll make his 2021 debut alongside Rashard Higgins and the rest of the Cleveland WR contingent.

Through two games (really, one game and change), Landry has six catches off of six targets for 80 yards. He also notched a rushing touchdown — the fourth rushing TD of his career — against the Chiefs in Week 1.

In a corresponding move, the Browns have promoted defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo from the practice squad.

Browns’ Jarvis Landry To Miss Time

The Browns will be without Jarvis Landry for a little while. The wide receiver has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will be week-to-week, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

Landry went down with a knee injury during the Browns’ opening drive on Sunday and did not return. The Browns still went on to win 31-21, thanks in part to Tyrod Taylor‘s early exit. Still, credit goes to the Browns’ offense, which managed to find pay dirt in each quarter.

The Browns will be without Landry when they face the Bears on Sunday. They may or may not also be without Odell Beckham Jr. — he’s yet to play this year as he recovers from knee surgery. Rashard Higgins, who replaced Landry in the lineup, figures to pick up more of Baker Mayfield‘s targets. Preseason standout Davion Davis — now eligible to return from suspension — could also be called upon to fill in.

There’s no word yet on whether the Browns will park Landry on short-term injured reserve to open up a roster spot. But, given the week-to-week nature of the injury, it might make sense for them to leave him on the 53-man roster.

WR Rumors: Jones, Toney, Giants, OBJ

Julio Jones trade rumors first surfaced because the Falcons identified his contract as a way to create much-needed cap space, but later reports indicated the decorated receiver requested a trade out of Atlanta in March. Traded to the Titans for a package headlined by a second-round pick, Jones described his Falcons divorce as mutual.

We discussed everything. We just made the decision,” Jones said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was just cut and dry. There was nothing toward football; it’s business. So, you just had to accept whatever happens, happens. Like I said, it was a mutual agreement on it. We just split up.”

The 32-year-old wide receiver built a Hall of Fame resume in Georgia and, for a bit this spring, was slated to team with Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. But this reality never appeared to be on the table. Jones did, in fact, request a trade in March, Ledbetter adds. The All-Pro target said his Atlanta exit did not come about because of the team’s transition from the Dan Quinn era to an Arthur Smith-led staff. The Titans agreed to take on all of Jones’ $15.3MM guaranteed 2021 salary, separating them from the rest of the trade suitors.

Here is the latest wide receiver news from around the league:

  • Odell Beckham Jr. skipped much of the Browns‘ 2019 offseason program and did not work out with Baker Mayfield during the COVID-19-marred 2020 offseason. Beckham was rehabbing an offseason surgery at that point. Despite having torn an ACL Oct. 25 of last year, OBJ joined Jarvis Landry in working out with Mayfield in Austin this week, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal notes. Landry confirmed Beckham was running routes at Mayfield’s workouts, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A lack of chemistry between Beckham and Mayfield has been evident during their 1 1/2 seasons together; extra reps should help ahead of a key season for the former Pro Bowl wide receiver. The Browns, who have seen many veterans stay away from OTAs, will convene for minicamp next week.
  • Kadarius Toney also avoided his team’s OTAs, skipping the Giants‘ pre-minicamp workouts. The first-round pick doing so surprised the team, Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Toney did not sign his rookie contract until last week but had inked a waiver to protect himself in case of an injury during OTAs. Rookies often work out with their teams before signing their deals. Toney’s four-year, $13.7MM contract is fully guaranteed.
  • Shortly after the Giants selected Toney 20th overall, Joe Judge called Sterling Shepard to discuss his future with the team, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “I thought it was necessary to talk to Shep specifically because when we drafted Toney, the word in the press as he was reading those headlines was specifically he’s a slot receiver,” Judge said. “Which, look, we are not bringing in someone to play one position. I thought it was relevant at the time to contact Shep out of respect for how he is with our program to communicate that with him.” Shepard is the longest-tenured Giant, arriving during the Jerry Reese regime. Although Shepard is signed through 2023, the Giants can create more than $6MM in cap space by moving on from him next year. The sixth-year veteran is expected to play more in the slot, following Kenny Golladay‘s arrival, after working there a career-low 34% of the time in 2020.