After an extended search, the Cleveland Browns introduced new general manager Andrew Berry on Wednesday in a packed press conference at team headquarters, officially filling the role that was previously occupied by John Dorsey.
“Winning is at the forefront of everyone’s minds within the organization,” Berry told reporters.
Berry covered a variety of topics in his presser, but one of the most important was what the team’s plans are for Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham — both talented pieces of the Browns offense who have dealt with some off the field issues.
Browns Lay Out Expectations for Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham
Hunt signed with the Browns last offseason as a free agent after being released by the Chiefs following video of him striking a woman in a Cleveland hotel was made public. Hunt was recently pulled over for a traffic stop where a police officer found both weed and an open bottle of alcohol in his car. Hunt — who a restricted free agent — was just given a citation for the stop, but video of the encounter was released, not painting the running back in the best light.
Hunt told the officer he would not pass a drug test and that he was having a tough time.
“I will never do this again,” Hunt tells the officer. “It’s the offseason. Sorry I was having a good time.”
From Berry’s tone, on Hunt sounds like the Browns are planning to keep him around despite the off-field slip-up.
“With Kareem, we’ve communicated our expectations for him moving forward,” Berry said. “We want guys who are going to be smart, tough and accountable on and off the field. Kareem understands that.”
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was a little more stern.
“It’s not good,” Haslam said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “Kareem knows he’s got to do better. Kevin and Andrew have talked to him about it and I’ll just leave it at that. What he did is not acceptable; he’s got to do better.’’
Andrew Berry: Odell Beckham One of the Most Talented WRs in the NFL
Beckham was traded to the Browns in a blockbuster deal last offseason, bringing a new level of hype to Cleveland, which didn’t play out for Beckham or the team. Beckham finished his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns, while the team missed the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season, finishing 6-10.
Beckham was also involved in some offseason news stemming from the college football National Championship game, giving out money to LSU players and having a warrant issued for his arrest after striking an officer on the butt. The misdemeanor simple battery warrant was quickly rescinded.
As he stated with Hunt, Berry said clear expectations have been set forth for OBJ and don’t have any plans to move him.
“(Stefanski and I) have had really good conversations (with Beckham). He’s one of the most talented receivers in the league and we’re certainly happy to have him here.”
Rumors swirled toward the end of the season that Beckham wanted a trade, but as the year wrapped up, Beckham made it certain that he was ready to rebound from the rough season.
“I’m going to win in this offseason,” Beckham said after the Browns season ending loss to the Bengals. “2019 has been a year of the losses and all these things. I feel like I’ve taken them with great humility. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m positive looking into 2020. I’m excited.”