Browns give Bryant another chance
Browns’ 7th-round pick still with team after latest arrest
Armonty Bryant was afraid his NFL career had ended before it even started.
The Browns, though, are giving the troubled seventh-round draft pick one more chance — his last chance.
Arrested last week for driving under the influence in Oklahoma, Bryant, who also had a felony drug charge last October while in college, participated Friday with Cleveland’s other new players and undrafted free agents on the first day of Cleveland’s rookie mini-camp.
But before taking the field, Bryant met with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and apologized.
“He’s very remorseful for the things that have happened,” Chudzinski said following practice. “He understands me and what I expect from him and is ready to make amends.”
Bryant, who was given a deferred one-year jail sentence after pleading no contest to the DUI charge, said he feared the Browns might cut ties with him following his latest arrest. Meeting with reporters after the workout was moved indoors by thunderstorms, he vowed to make it up to the Browns — and not disappoint them again.
“I’m just fortunate the Browns still have faith in me,” the soft-spoken Bryant said. “Hopefully I can win a spot on this 53-man roster. I just made a stupid mistake at the time. But now I’m just going to let my actions speak for me.”
Bryant was arrested last Friday near the football stadium at East Central University, where he starred for the Division II program. His blood-alcohol level was 0.098 percent — over the state legal limit of 0.08. As part of his sentence, Bryant is required to attend a victim impact panel, obtain a substance abuse assessment and pay $1,136 in court costs.
The Browns knew they were taking a risk when they drafted the 6-foot-4, 263-pound Bryant, who was arrested last year for twice selling marijuana to an undercover police officer on campus.
Chudzinski said the Browns discussed all of their options — including releasing Bryant — before deciding to have him report to camp.
“Now that Armonty’s gotten here I had a chance to sit down with him and talk about my expectations and make those expectations clear with him,” he said. “Ultimately, Armonty needs to show that he’s going to be accountable and I expect that out of him.”
COOK STARTS WELL
Former Youngstown State running back Jamaine Cook, an undrafted free agent, said he got some good feedback from coaches in his first practice. He said his biggest adjustment so far is learning the playbook.
“It’s kind of cliche but it’s totally different,” he told reporters after practice. “There’s so many variations on every play.”
Cook grew up a Browns fan in nearby Midpark but said he can’t let his friends and family distract him.
“I have a goal and I’m here to work,” he said. “I’m getting used to the tempo and obviously there’s nerves because this is the NFL, but once you conquer those things, it’s football. It’s what I’ve always done.”
ALL EYES ON MINGO
During practice, all eyes were on first-round pick Barkevious Mingo, the No. 6 overall selection from LSU. Mingo’s listed weight is 240 and there has been discussion about whether he needs to bulk up.
Mingo broke up laughing when he was asked if he thought he was skinny.
“Aw, I think I’m just fine the way I am,” he said.
Chudzinski said it’s possible the Browns will ask Mingo to add some weight.
“That remains to be seen,” he said. “Different guys have different body types and different weights they play the best at.”