Defensive end Armonty Bryant reported to the Browns’ headquarters today for rookie minicamp despite speculation about the team possibly cutting ties with him in the wake of his most recent run-in with the law.
Bryant was arrested in October for selling $20 of marijuana twice to an undercover police officer, but the Browns took a leap of faith by drafting him in the seventh round April 27. Bryant was then arrested May 3 in Ada, Okla., and pleaded no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. He received a one-year deferred sentence and arranged to pay $1,136 in fines and court costs.
Still, Bryant, who starred at Division II East Central University in Ada, will receive another chance to redeem himself.
Bryant, Louisiana State outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (first-round pick), San Diego State cornerback Leon McFadden (third round) and Chadron State offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey (seventh round) are the recently drafted players set to participate in the team’s rookie minicamp, which runs Friday through Sunday. The Browns also selected Notre Dame safety Jamoris Slaughter (sixth round), but he’s still rehabilitating from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in September.
Bryant, though, is at the center of the most intriguing storyline heading into camp. And he’s not the only player whom the Browns have stood by after being arrested this offseason.
Outside linebacker Quentin Groves, who signed a two-year, $2.8 million deal with the Browns in March, was arrested April 17 in Orange Village and charged with solicitation in a prostitution sting. Groves apologized in a statement, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct April 23 in Bedford Municipal Court and paid $365 in fines and court costs.
Defensive end Desmond Bryant was arrested for criminal mischief Feb. 24 in North Miami Beach, Fla., for allegedly attempting to barge into a family’s home while intoxicated and incoherent. The family filed a civil lawsuit against Desmond Bryant, asking for damages in excess of $15,000. The Browns signed Desmond Bryant, a former member of the Oakland Raiders, to a five-year, $34 million deal in March.
Of course, the legal troubles of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam overshadow everything else the team is dealing with. The FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided the Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters of Haslam’s family business, Pilot Flying J, on April 15 as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged fraud scheme.