Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry talked during high school about playing on the same college team together. Now, five years after their final season together at LSU, they took another step Monday (April 1) as players on the same NFL team.
The Cleveland Browns began their offseason workout program Monday with Beckham and Landry reporting together. They sat beside each other during a lengthy introductory press conference with quarterback Baker Mayfield and defensive end Myles Garrett also on the podium.
“There’s no better place to be than here,” said Beckham, who the Browns acquired in a trade March 12 that gave the New York Giants the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft along with a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Beckham played his first five seasons with the Giants after they selected him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft but had his last two seasons shortened by injury. He caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
Beckham and Landry teased the idea of being NFL teammates multiple times on social media through the years.
“I feel like we spoke this into existence, almost,” Beckham said. “Him and I dreamed this. We talked about at 17: ‘I’m going to live right down the street from you. We’re going to be on the same team.’ It’s surreal.”
The Browns had their best season in years with an 7-8-1 record in 2018, with most of those wins coming after a coaching change that made Freddie Kitchens the interim offensive coordinator. He’s now the head coach, and the Browns have quarterback Baker Mayfield back for a second season after they selected him at No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns made him the starter soon after they blew a lead in the fourth quarter of a Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
“His play and his ability speak for itself,” Mayfield said. “But then the things we talked about all throughout last year with what we need and the types of guys we need in this locker room to go in the right direction, that’s the best thing about that. He’s a team guy and he’s going to be a great presence for us in this locker room.”
Beckham and Landry began their pro careers at record paces, with the duo tied with each other for the most receptions through the first three years of a career. Landry began his career with the Miami Dolphins and joined the Browns in a trade last offseason.
Beckham said how he followed the Browns from afar after the trade and believed them to be an ascending team. The trade from the Giants came as “a shock," he said, but he’s moved on from it.
He learned of a trade from a phone call by Giants general manager Dave Gettelman and he followed that call by placing a call with his mother and then another call with Landry.
Said Landry: “It’s more than an honor to take the field with him again.”
The pair played three seasons together at LSU and were the first set of receivers to top 1,000 receiving yards in 2013. Both entered the NFL as high-round selected players in the draft with Landry going in the second round to Miami.
“I think this moment is going to be more iconic than we all realize," Beckham said about joining him again in Cleveland. “That’s what we want the goal to be. To look back in 10 years and be like, ‘Man, I remember April 1, 2019. That was the start of something great.’”