With the Browns' practice facility closed through at least the end of the month because of the coronavirus outbreak, Mayfield invited a few of his receivers and tight ends to his hometown of Austin, Texas, to work out.
Those who showed this week included receivers Rashard Higgins and Damion Ratley and tight ends David Njoku and Austin Hooper, according to league sources. Higgins, who re-signed with the Browns just two weeks ago, drove from his hometown of Dallas earlier this week.
A source said that Hooper, whom the Browns signed this offseason from the Atlanta Falcons, actually initiated the gathering by telling Mayfield he wanted to go to Austin to catch passes from him. After Hooper reached out, Mayfield invited the rest of his pass-catchers.
Last offseason, Mayfield worked out with his receivers in California before training camp.
The Browns are facing the challenge of learning a new scheme away from one another via the NFL-mandated virtual offseason. With Cleveland's hiring of coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt this offseason, Mayfield is playing for his fourth head coach and offensive coordinator since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 draft.
"We're going to lay out some things we want him to get better at. We're going to tell him some things he's really good at and double down on those and we hope he takes a step forward like the rest of our players," Stefanski said of Mayfield in an interview with ESPN Cleveland on April 28. "I think we added some pieces to the offensive side of the ball which can only help the development of a young quarterback. We're gonna work our hardest with this kid. We're gonna keep our thumb on him."
After finishing second in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, Mayfield struggled last season as the Browns finished 6-10. To better support Mayfield in his third season, the new Browns regime spearheaded by first-year general manager Andrew Berry made several notable moves, including signing Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin. The Browns used the 10th pick in the draft last month on Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr., who is expected to take over at left tackle.
"It's just a matter of the players rising to the occasion," Stefanski said. "I think Baker has done that throughout his lifetime. He's won in high school. He's won in college and he's won some games in the NFL. ... I have a lot of confidence in Baker, but I'm not going to speak it into existence, and neither will he. It's going to be a matter of hard work from Baker, from our coaches and from our entire offense."