Callaway is competing with Dontrell Hilliard, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi and D'Ernest Johnson for the Browns' primary return duties during the offseason program, Andrew Gribble of the team's official site reports. Callaway served as Cleveland's kick returner his entire rookie season, but it wasn't until Week 17 against the Ravens that he showed his potential on punt returns. In that contest, he brought back three punts for 46 yards. With Callaway's opportunities on offense expected to decline following the offseason addition of Odell Beckham, special teams may be an area where he can carve out a bigger workload.
Callaway is part of a new-look receiving corps led by Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, Dan Labbe of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. With Beckham and Landry safely locked into starring roles, the real competition will be between Callaway and Rashard Higgins, both of whom played well down the stretch last season. It'll be tough to draw consistent targets as the No. 3 wide receiver in an offense with so many other weapons, but there is some opportunity for either Callaway or Higgins to emerge as a fantasy asset if Baker Mayfield lights it up. In addition to all the talent at wide receiver, Cleveland has Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson and Kareem Hunt (suspension) in the backfield and David Njoku and Demetrius Harris at tight end.
Callaway had the marijuana-related charge from last August dismissed this offseason as part of a plea agreement, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Callaway could still be disciplined by the NFL under the league's policy on substances of abuse. The 22-year-old has a long history of off-field issues dating back to his time at the University of Florida, and he started his pro career in the substance abuse program after turning in a diluted sample at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.
Callaway hauled in four of his seven targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Ravens. Callaway continued his trend of turning in boom or bust performances, recording his highest yardage total in the past four weeks. While he was held catchless in two of the final four contests to close the season, Callaway showed potential plenty of times throughout his rookie campaign, hauling in a catch of 30 or more yards in five games. He'll likely head into the 2019 season as the Browns' second-best receiving option -- assuming the team doesn't add a prominent pass-catcher -- giving him the opportunity to build on his solid first season. To emerge as a reliable fantasy option Callaway will have to improve his catch rate, which should also help him perform more consistently on a week-to-week basis.
Callaway was unable to haul in his lone target during Sunday's 26-18 win over the Bengals. It was the rookie's first catchless outing since Week 1, this after he tied a season high with five catches in Week 15. It's probably best not to read too much into just one game, particularly as he's built a nice role for himself on a surging Browns squad. Cleveland's now out of playoff contention, but they can play spoiler next Sunday against a Ravens squad that gave up just three catches for 22 yards to Callaway in Week 5.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||@New York Jets||32||27.38|
|3||09/23||Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
|5||10/08||@San Francisco 49ers||30||26.13|
|8||10/27||@New England Patriots||14||21.68|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||78||43||586||5||27||13.63||88|