Browns Veterans, Mostly On Defense, Trickle Into Otas After Apparent Modifications Made By Kevin Stefanski

Myles Garrett was the biggest name joining voluntary Browns OTAs for the first time on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Myles Garrett was the biggest name joining voluntary Browns OTAs for the first time on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

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 Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for and 850 ESPN Cleveland.

Some Browns veteran players, mostly on defense, ended the NFLPA-led boycott and joined rookies for the first time on what was officially the fourth day of voluntary OTA practices on Tuesday.

Among the veterans who reported and were identified in photographs posted on the team’s official Website was defensive end Myles Garrett.

The Browns are trying to walk a fine line between supporting J.C. Tretter, their iron-man center and the NFLPA president who has called for a boycott of voluntary practices, and coach Kevin Stefanski, who wants his players on the field.

Unprecedented negotiations between players and coaches around the league have resulted in some teams breaking ranks from the NFLPA boycott after winning concessions for greatly reduced practices and in some cases elimination of mandatory minicamps scheduled later in June. Notable teams that have had larger player participation than the Browns include AFC playoff contenders Kansas City, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

Stefanski has declined to state his frustration with increased player empowerment over offseason practices.

He has not commented on concessions he made to entice more veteran involvement at this week’s three practices and next week, when OTAs conclude with four practices. Stefanski also has not said whether he will proceed with plans to hold a mandatory minicamp June 15-17. Per a fine schedule set forth in the CBA, players who miss mandatory minicamp can be fined progressively for each day they miss, which would total over $95,000 for three days.

Wednesday’s OTA session is open to media, per NFL media policy, followed by a Zoom call with Stefanski.

It appears that one concession, or modification, made by Stefanski was to restrict the first three OTA practices last week to rookies. Photos posted on the Browns’ Website that week included only rookies.

On Tuesday, 30 players were identified in photos posted on the Browns’ Website. They were:

From the defense

Garrett, tackle Malik Jackson, tackle Andrew Billings, end Porter Gustin, end Cameron Malveaux, end Romeo McKnight, linebacker Anthony Walker, linebacker Mack Wilson, linebacker Jacob Phillips, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker Tony Fields, linebacker Montrel Meander, safety Grant Delpit, safety Ronnie Harrison, cornerback Greedy Williams, cornerback Greg Newsome, cornerback A.J. Green, cornerback Robert Jackson, cornerback Brian Allen.

From the offense

Tackle Greg Senat, tackle Michael Dunn, guard Drew Forbes, center Nick Harris, fullback Andy Janovich, fullback Johnny Stanton, halfback D’Ernest Johnson, halfback John Kelly, tight end Stephen Carlson, wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, quarterback Kyle Lauletta.

Stefanski has yet to experience a normal offseason as coach of the Browns. 

His first season was marred by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused protocols that eliminated in-person weight-training, meetings and practices, plus the wipeout of preseason games.

This year, the NFLPA called for a boycott of voluntary weight-training and OTA sessions as a means of promoting better player health and recovery over the course of the expanded 17-game regular season.