Odell Beckham’s whirlwind month brings him to Cleveland for start of offseason workouts

Moving from one city to another at merely a moment's notice can be a massive, overwhelming undertaking that often becomes a whirlwind.

Learning of your new future while vacationing in Europe only further complicates matters.

Those are the shoes Odell Beckham Jr. currently stands in. As Browns coach Freddie Kitchens emphasized last week in Phoenix and again Monday, Beckham's life has been flipped upside down.

"It just was a lot," Beckham said of the trade Monday. "I don't know how else to describe it. A lot of emotions, a lot of thoughts that run through your mind. Your whole life is changing. It's still the same, in theory, but it's changing. I think I called my mom, called up (Browns receiver and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry) and here we are today."

If you saw Beckham on Monday, you wouldn't be able to tell.

Dressed in a multicolored Nike track suit, Beckham arrived to the Browns' facility in the morning to kick off a busy day that in large part matched his life as of late. After spending the first five years of his career and signing an extension with the New York Giants, he was dealt to Cleveland last month. He received a much-anticipated introduction Monday, but only after spending time meeting the Browns' brass and his new teammates who were at the facility for the start of offseason workouts.

By the time he took the dais, he'd changed into a sharp ensemble that included a brown sport coat and an orange hat with the Brownie elf embroidered on the front.

It might take time, but he looked like he fit right in with Cleveland.

"I can feel the excitement and to be a part of that is exciting for me," Beckham said Monday, "because it's like you want to be around guys who want to win, you want to be around friends, like -- I can't even put it into words. It's just a lot and it's going to be a lot for the city of Cleveland. (Baton Rouge) is a football town. I heard (Cleveland is) a football town. I'm looking forward to finding out."

He'll find out in the summer, starting with a much-anticipated training camp with expectations for full-capacity attendance. In the months leading up to that camp, though, Beckham will be in and out, largely training on his own in Los Angeles while still getting things together in Cleveland.

That's no worry to Kitchens or the rest of the Browns organization.

"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, for his coaches and things like that. My hat is off to him."

To those who want to use his expected absences to perpetuate a narrative of selfish behavior in regards to Beckham, Mayfield made a good counterpoint.

"He's here today," Mayfield said. "I think that shows a lot."

Beckham went on to explain himself further.

"I see all the stuff that's said and everything and I think one of my biggest problems is I care and I don't care at the same time because I know who I am," he said. "So nothing that's said about me is ever going to bother me because I know who I am.

"I went to a school, we were running the ball like 60 plays out of 72 and we blocked every day in practice. So my mentality was never me first."

It probably felt like a ruse, seeing Myles Garrett, Landry, Beckham and Mayfield all on one stage, all in brown and orange. On April 1, this was no prank. Neither will it be when Mayfield takes the field armed with two star receivers who are used to a high volume of targets. 

That latter part has caused some mild concerns reminiscent of the 2010-11 Miami Heat: How will everyone get their touches with only one ball?

"They're team-oriented. They want to win,” Mayfield said. “[I will] probably just close my eyes and throw it and hope one of them catches it. I'm not worried about that. They know that I'm going to do my job and I hope they trust me to do that."

With the targets sorted out and the celebrations to be choreographed -- Beckham poked fun at Mayfield, who he said will have to teach him how to dance better -- all that's left for now is to figure out where Beckham might live in Cleveland. He also happens to have Cleveland's greatest star in its history in his contacts: LeBron James.

"Yeah, I asked him if I could borrow the house and he said it's too big for you," Beckham said. "I was just trying to get my bearings straight and see what's what and this is his home so he gave me a little bit of advice.

"He just said you're going to love it. You're going to love Cleveland. And I was like I can't wait. And that's like my idol so that's the person I looked up to the most. That's my guy. To see what he did to bring a championship here, I just want to be able to do that same thing."

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