Updated, again: Browns’ Callaway cited for marijuana possession

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway stretches during training camp Tuesday in Berea, Ohio. Callaway was cited for marijuana possession, the latest drama for one of the team's wide receivers. Callaway was pulled over by suburban Strongsville, Ohio police early Sunday morning, Aug. 5, and a small amount of marijuana was found under his seat. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

[Updated below: 4 p.m., 8-8-18] BEREA, Ohio — Antonio Callaway didn’t take long to run into trouble with the Browns.

The fourth-round draft pick and wide receiver from Florida, who arrived in Cleveland with a history of issues while in college, was cited early Sunday morning for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.

According to a report by police in Strongsville, Ohio, Callaway was pulled over in his car after he failed to yield to on oncoming traffic. Police found a “small amount” of marijuana and cited Callaway, who was stopped on a day off for Cleveland’s players at training camp.

To make matters worse, Callaway didn’t inform the Browns of his legal matter.

“I am surprised at this,” coach Hue Jackson said following Tuesday’s practice. “He has been great. We have had no slipups, no issues. This is a young player, who obviously made a bad decision or bad choice. I have to find out. Believe me, when we find out more of the facts, I will tell you straight out, exactly what it is when I know.”

The Browns selected Callaway in this year’s draft despite his checkered past. He was suspended last season for involvement in a credit card fraud case, and he provided a diluted urine sample at the NFL combine in February.

That offense caused teams to stay away from him, not the Browns.

In April, general manager John Dorsey said the team had “done extensive background” checks on Callaway. At the time, Dorsey, who joined the Browns in December, felt assured that Jackson and receivers coach Adam Henry would be able to mold him and keep him out of trouble.

“I’m still confident in that,” Jackson said. “I think what John said is absolutely right and I support him 100 percent. We’ve been fortunate over the last couple of years where we haven’t had things crop up.

“I truly believe in our process and how we go about it and how we talk about things. So, again, this is something I’m glad is happening now so we can deal with it and move forward. I think our locker room understands how we handle business. This young man will definitely understand how we handle business, too.”

Jackson said he wants to learn more about Callaway’s situation before commenting on whether the team will discipline the 21-year-old. Jackson said he has spoken to Callaway “quite a bit” about his behavior.

“This is surprising to me,” he said. “He is a young guy. Here is something that had happened and we have to deal with it. To understand it first, before I talk about consequences or anything, is important.”

Callaway was already in Stage 1 of the league’s abuse program because of his diluted sample. He could be subject to a fine because of this infraction.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “The matter will be reviewed under the NFL-NFLPA substances of abuse policy.”

Callaway’s off the field problems at Florida were extensive.

In 2017, he was cited for marijuana possession as a passenger in a car driven by a known felon. Callaway pleaded no contest to possession of drug paraphernalia and was fined.

A year earlier, he was accused of sexual assault, prompting the university to suspend him while the incident was investigated. Callaway eventually was found not responsible during a student code of conduct hearing, but he acknowledged under oath he was high on marijuana at the time of the alleged assault.

Callaway’s driving infraction came hours before the Browns traded disappointing wide receiver Corey Coleman to Buffalo. That move caused the team to elevate Callaway, who has had an impressive training camp, into the starting lineup before Thursday’s exhibition opener at the New York Giants.

The Browns released a statement saying they were aware of Callaway’s citation and “are in the process of gathering more information and will comment further at the appropriate time.”

And while they’re dealing with Callaway, the Browns are still waiting for former All-Pro Josh Gordon, who is away from the team to deal with health issues. Gordon has been suspended multiple times by the NFL for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Jackson said he still doesn’t know when Gordon will return.

“Josh is still doing what he needs to do,” Jackson said. “And again, he will be back at some point in time.”

Because of Gordon’s situation and the lack of experienced receiving depth, the Browns have also considered signing free agent receiver Dez Bryant, the former Pro Bowler released earlier this year by Dallas.

Update —

Callaway had bullets and gun parts in his car when he was cited for marijuana possession.

Dash-camera video obtained by TMZ shows an officer asking Callaway to step out of his vehicle after the officer smells marijuana following a routine traffic stop. Callaway cooperates, and later one officer tells his partner that he became “real nervous” when he found the bullets and a strap for a Glock handgun in the vehicle.

The officer asks Callaway about the gun and the fourth-round pick says he has one but it’s in Florida.

There is no mention of the ammunition or gun parts in the report filed by Strongsville, Ohio police. The AP has requested the dash-cam video.

Callaway was given a ticket after a “small amount” of marijuana was found.

A Browns spokesman said Callaway is traveling with the team for Thursday’s exhibition against the New York Giants.

 

54 COMMENTS

    • Regular people change their habits to match their goals. addicts change their goals to match their habits. It seems pretty clear Calloway is an addict and he will not be able to stop unless he gets help. Unfortunately, that is probably not going to happen until he hits bottom–

      • Jaws,
        It’s pot we’re talking about, not crack or heroin. It isn’t that he is throwing his life away due to the crushing addiction of marijuana, rather, to answer Rog’s question it’s more moron than addict from what I’ve seen. He isn’t going to “hit rock bottom” and beg on the streets for a joint. Im in no way trying to belittle the destructive power of addiction, but in this particular case, I think using an addiction to marijuana as an explanation for his actions is a major cop out. He made his bed(repeatedly) and now he will sleep in it.

        • Pot is many times as potent as 20 years ago. It has been considered addictive in some of the countries it’s legal. Saying its only pot. Did they test for more thank that. Personally I don’t care. His choices are going to affect his career. Positive or negative. His choice. Looks like its negative.

          • 65,
            I wasn’t belittling addiction, merely saying I don’t buy it as a legitimate reason for his actions, in his particular case. However, I will give it to you that I was belittling pot addiction(as you said, only “some countries” consider it so), but I was just messing around and giving Jaws a hard time. It’s all in good fun.

          • Marijuana addict….old guys rambling on about something they know nothing about. Callaway NEVER learned that there are consequences for his actions, even after his bad behavior cost him dearly. It’s also called personal responsibility, something he clearly has no idea how to demonstrate. But yeah, he’s a POT ADDICT.

        • Technically he is throwing his life away. Yeah it’s only marijuana, but when it comes to the league, that’s all it takes to end a career. Just ask Josh Gordon what marijuana did to his. Looks like he might be finally turning it around, but he lost a couple of prime years of his career after it looked like he could potentially be a hall of famer. Hasn’t had more than 300 yards receiving the last 2 years after coming back. He certainly lost millions of dollars because of it. I just don’t see Callaway having the ability to turn it around. You’d think he would’ve at this point. Take football away and no doubt he winds up in bigger trouble.

          • ……and may, or may not, make the connection when it is unfortunately too late. Say what you will pro and con about MJ, but it’s label as a “gateway” drug is well deserved, and that means not just more powerful drugs, but more unhelpful “behaviors” as well.

          • “…but it’s label as a “gateway” drug is well deserved…”

            Says the guy who has probably never tried it.

            I call BS. I graduated without any problem. I have held a job in my field since graduation. I have a more than respectable income.

            And I’ve indulged with some frequency my entire adult life.

          • ANYONE who tosses out the term “gateway drug” CLEARLY has no idea what they are talking about. That term was coined during 80’s while crack was a national epidemic. Hard evidence already that marijuana legal states are seeing real drops in opioid problems.

            REEFER MADNESS! You’ll become a zombie. (don’t drink alcohol clueless one)

          • Good preacher indeed — well, I sure don’t want to offend a man of the cloth! Still, when someone uses the term “Hard” in relation to the word “evidence”, I have to wonder. If you’re referring to me as “clueless one”, tho, don’t worry. This August 28th will make 32 years since my last drink.

        • The fact that someone has an addiction, and I am only speculating, does not mean they should get away with criminals acts. in fact, the more they get away with it the less likely they are to seek help, so the argument can be made that slamming them is the best thing for them.

          Calloway’s actions are certainly not those of a stable, well-adjusted person, and I do help whatever happens he gets help before things get really bad.

          • I agree Jaws, and I don’t think it’s too late just yet. If, as you said, he gets some help and really does a 180, he probably still has one last shot to have a successful career. It comes down to what you said earlier, him dropping his habits to completely change his goals. Not easy, but possible. Im rooting for the guy, he is a Gator after all.

  1. Just commented earlier in the day about what an unbelievable talent he was but short on common sense and now this.

  2. Remember just recently when Callaway said he was going to do all the right things in the future because he is now a father. That approach did not last long for him.

  3. 3am, weed, no license, the day after getting the promotion….wow. maybe he is dumb enUFf to play in Cleveland after all?

  4. maybe callaway is a little extreme about repeat offenses, but once a guy has had a little trouble, he becomes a risk. first since he has had a problem he is a little more likely to get into trouble again than a player who has shown the ability to stay out of trouble. second, first tme offenders get a little slack, but second timers get more punishment, and in terms of the team its often at the worst possible moment. so that’s why, imo, even a player like scarlett requires the coaches to put extra measures in to protect the team.
    the real problem for calloway, being out at 3 a m is all risk no upside. the opportunity was there for success but opportunity is not as common as a young guy might think. as dr. Archie Graham said in “Field of Dreams”: “You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

  5. Joel. I doubt Callaway is “rotten to the core”. But he does makes a lot of immature choices and decisions. He also appears to be easily influenced by his Florida “friends”.

    • This is certainly a shocking news flash. While we are at it, I’d like to drop another bomb…water is wet! This guy is an embarrassment to the school. Mullen got lucky Antonio decided to go pro, otherwise it would be a 100% certainty that Mullen would have to kick him off the team from not learning from this many, many, many, many, many, many mistakes. He may not be rotten Tampa, but he certainly is incapable or self control and making good decisions.

  6. not a shock that he’s still smoking. just shocked that he’s so good at getting caught. that’s the part that screams moron to me. this is bust number four? five? i’ve lost count. i find it hard to believe that even someone who smokes every day gets caught that often during a three year period, or at least that this must be a statistical outlier.

  7. There has to be a mistake in the reporting. This can’t be the Antonio Callaway that was at Florida. Just can’t be. We all know that ‘Tonio learned his lesson under Coach Jim’s iron fisted rule.

  8. Maybe, he is just really stressed about life? I would say that a lot of players do this thing but it is at home where they can just unwind. I think the telling part is at the combine and the urine sample was diluted? Sign of the future to come. They tried to educate him and put him in the training class to tell him about what they expect and not be lured into the dark side of the business. However, when you get away with things with a slap on the hand…you will repeat your mistakes.

  9. Dude looks like he has an illegal smile in the above photo. At least he didn’t hurt anybody but himself. Before you get in a car at 3:30 in the morning with no liscense and weed, think about your wife and kid instead of yourself.

  10. What’s the matter with everybody? He didn’t do nothing. What he did was loan his car to some friends, and they didn’t remove the Mary-J before they returned it, like people do all the time with Mary-J. Leave it, I mean. And Callaway had no idea it was in the car. No idea. That’s what he said. That kind of thing has happened to me at least a hundred times, and I always had to return the dope to its rightful owner.

    • I am going to call you leland if I ever need an attorney. Excellent explanation. Callaway is calling you right now on the other line.

    • Assuming he really had no clue, dude’s gotta re-evaluate who he hangs out with. I’m sure his friends know he’s on a short leash as it is, don’t smoke pot in your boy’s car when every move he makes is going to be scrutinized!

      In the end, whether its Calloway or his acquaintances, the lack of working gray matter is going to finally do him in. The mall’s open but no one is shopping up there…

  11. I don’t know that weed is a “character” issue. A lot of high character people have done it. But, if someone was offering me a potential seven figure salary under the condition to stay off pot, I think I would probably make the big sacrifice.

  12. “A strap to a Glock”? Presumably one of a set of inter-changeable back straps for a relatively recent production Glock handgun. Why is that important? Many people have “gun parts” in their vehicle at any given time, none of which can be assembled into a gun absent the frame, slide, barrel and ignition components. Was this added for sensationalism effects?

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