Friday, December 2, 2022

Former Browns bust gets training with NFC contender

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Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway is looking for a new NFL home and practiced for the Dallas Cowboys on Friday.

Callaway was a fourth-round pick by the Browns in 2018 but lasted less than two seasons in Cleveland. While he showed promise as a quick prospect, off-field problems led to his demise with the Browns. He missed time due to multiple failed drug tests, proving he wasn’t reliable to those in power.

Callaway played in 20 games for the Browns, totaling 51 catches for 675 yards and five touchdowns. He signed with the Dolphins in 2020 but only caught two passes. Last season, Callaway was part of the Kansas City Chiefs practice team but didn’t see the field.

Callaway also spent some time in the XFL with the Tampa Bay Vipers but never saw the field after suffering a leg injury.

The Cowboys have been exploring the wide receiver market, and another former Browns pass catcher the NFC East contender has been linked with is Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham is the most desirable remaining free agent and has admirers. The Cowboys have been the most vocal in their recruiting efforts, however, with star linebacker Micah Parsons and owner Jerry Jones each expressing admiration for Beckham.

“S-we can use him,” Parsons said. “I think he’s a great player. He will escalate this offense. He’s a guy you want on the team and about him alongside all the other critic stuff that people make up. He can add real value to the team and help us do what we want to do.”

Jones has compared chasing Beckham to when his Cowboys signed Deion Sanders and wants him to wear a star on the side of his helmet.

“Odell is someone we respect around the world for who he is as a competitor,” Jones said. “I know the Cowboys star could look pretty good on that helmet if he puts it on.”

Beckham endured a rough few years in Cleveland after a trade from the Giants in 2019, catching just 114 catches for 1,586 yards in 29 games. After an ugly ending with the Browns that resulted in his release, Beckham signed with the Rams and made a major contribution during their Super Bowl run.

Beckham caught 48 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games, including four postseason contests.

It’s been a tumultuous year for the Browns, who emerge from bye week with a 3-5 record. Much of the drama surrounding the team has been linked to Deshaun Watson taking over the trade this offseason. Watson was suspended for 11 games as part of his settlement with the NFL after two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct. He was also fined $5 million.

Watson will train with the Browns for the first time this season next week and will be available on December 4.

“I’ve been waiting. We’re still waiting. I’m ready to play with him,” said Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. “I’ve played with him before. He’s a great energy booster for a team. He can go out, a make some crazy throws, make some plays and I think when he comes back we can open our playbook a little bit differently with him.

The Browns are trying to stay on the horizon in the playoffs with Watson’s return. You will see the explosive dolphins in week 10 with a chance to climb closer to 0.500.

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