Defensive end Armonty Bryant reported to the Browns’ headquarters Thursday 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 April 27 by drafting him in the seventh round. 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 today 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 the camp. And he’s not the only player 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.
Audition for brother
Former Boston College running back Josh Haden will try out for the Browns during their rookie minicamp.
Josh Haden, 23, is the younger brother of Browns cornerback Joe Haden, 24. After beginning his career at Boston College, Josh Haden transferred to Toledo but never became eligible to play football for the Rockets because of academic reasons.
Robbie Rouse of Fresno State is another running back who has a tryout with the Browns.
Former Browns linebacker Chris Gocong will try out with the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend during their rookie minicamp, the Eagles announced. The Browns acquired Gocong in 2010 via a trade with the Eagles and cut him April 2. Gocong, 29, tore his right Achilles tendon Aug. 4 during training camp and missed the entire 2012 season. … Former Browns wide receiver and three-time Pro Bowl kick returner Josh Cribbs, 29, will visit the Detroit Lions after meeting with the Raiders, New York Jets and New York Giants, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported. Cribbs, who had been with the Browns since 2005, became a free agent in March.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.