Most NFL players relax during the offseason in an attempt to recharge, but Brandon Magee isn’t one of them. He’s sacrificing leisure to live his dream as a multisport professional athlete. Magee won’t report to Browns headquarters Monday for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program because he’s participating in extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., as an outfielder in the Boston Red Sox’s minor-league system. He plans to fully commit to football once the Browns’ first minicamp starts April 29, but he’s also ready to report to Berea earlier if summoned. Until then, he wants to continue his rare juggling act in hopes of being assigned to the Greenville Drive, a Single-A affiliate in South Carolina. “The hardest thing about doing it is I don’t see family at all. I hardly see friends at all,” Magee said in a recent phone interview with the Beacon Journal. “I haven’t had a steady girlfriend for years due to my schedule. I’m only 23, and in the offseason, people like to go to the beach, and I can’t even do that.” A backup inside linebacker, Magee played special teams in eight games for the Browns as a rookie last season. He suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle Dec. 1 in the second quarter of a 32-28 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and later underwent surgery. The setback, though, didn’t prevent Magee from reporting to his first tour of spring training on Feb. 19. He has been hitting in batting cages, lifting weights and running, but he isn’t allowed to throw yet. In an effort to keep his football skills sharp, he also has been using agility drills recommended by the Browns and studying film of new coach Mike Pettine’s defense. The Red Sox drafted Magee in the 23rd round in 2012, when he starred as a linebacker at Arizona State University and played sparingly for the school’s baseball team. He went undrafted the following year as an NFL prospect, but the Dallas Cowboys signed him to a contract that included $70,000 guaranteed. He had 16 tackles in three preseason games before a concussion forced him to miss the final two exhibitions. The Cowboys cut him, and the Browns claimed him off waivers Sept. 1, a week before the season opener. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound Magee had doubts about whether the Browns would approve of his desire to partake in spring training. However, his concern was alleviated when he met Pettine.
Browns linebacker Brandon Magee living his dream as a multisport pro athlete
Akron Beacon Journal | Apr 7