Browns believe Callaway’s explanation of recent marijuana citation

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway (11) runs away from New York Giants' Orion Stewart (45) and Tae Davis (58) for a touchdown during the second half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
By Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway maintained his starting status with the Browns during their preseason opener against the New York Giants because general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson believe his side of the story.
“We both looked at each other and said, ‘He’s telling the truth,’ ” Dorsey said Thursday about an hour before the team’s first exhibition game kicked off at MetLife Stadium.

Strongsville police officer Eric Schubert wrote in an incident report he stopped Callaway at 2:59 a.m. Sunday near for failing to yield to oncoming traffic. Schubert cited Callaway with possession of marijuana, after finding a small amount under the driver’s seat, and driving with a suspended license.

In dash cam video, Callaway said his car had just been shipped from Florida to Ohio and he didn’t know marijuana was in it. One of the officers involved can be heard on video saying Callaway “claimed his little brother who smokes dope was using the car.”

Dorsey and Jackson met with Callaway on Tuesday night and bought his version of the events. Dorsey said specifically he believes Callaway was not smoking marijuana.

“Hue and myself had a long conversation with Antonio that evening and we basically presented to him the organization’s low threshold with regards to this type of situation,” Dorsey said.

“We expressed extreme disappointment and dissatisfaction with the event that occurred that Sunday. We thought it was important to have those discussions moving forward. He was remorseful in this thing.”

Callaway failed to inform the Browns about the incident. The team learned about it Tuesday through the media. Dorsey said he and Jackson “hammered home” the point that Callaway should have notified them.

“I don’t think he grasped the full communication component of it in terms of establishing the trust factor,” Dorsey said. “… That could be a rookie mistake. He’s a young 21-year-old. He doesn’t know the nuances of professional football, but he’s going to have to learn this responsibility very quickly now in light of this situation and in light of his past.”

Without knowledge of the incident, Dorsey traded receiver Corey Coleman, the 15th overall draft pick in 2016, to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night for a seventh-round selection in 2020. But Dorsey said his decision to deal Coleman would “not necessarily” have been different had he known about Callaway’s run-in with the law.

Dorsey also said shipping Coleman away for basically nothing wasn’t a result of the coaching staff saying they were fed up with him and wanted him gone.

“No, that wasn’t the case at all,” Dorsey said. “It was a collaborative effort of all the organization.

“We’ve had a long enough time to evaluate his skill sets, and in combination with the coaching staff and personnel staff, we think a fresh start would probably be best.”

The Browns effectively promoted Callaway to the starting lineup Sunday by trading Coleman. Callaway had a disappointing start against the Giants Thursday night, but finished strong. He dropped a pass and had two others deflect off his hands, including a two-point try from Baker Mayfield. But later Mayfield hit Callaway with a 54-yard slant and run for a touchdown. He had three catches for 87 yards, including a diving 24-yarder that the Browns successfully challenged after it was ruled incomplete on the field.

Dorsey picked Callaway in the fourth round in April despite the numerous off-field red flags in the University of Florida product’s background.

Callaway entered the league in its substance-abuse program because he submitted a diluted drug test sample this past winter at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is subject to discipline under the NFL and NFL Players Association’s substance-abuse policy.

Players in stage one of the program who violate the policy will be subject to a fine equaling three-seventeenths of their base salary and entrance into stage two of the program upon notification by the medical director, per the policy. So Callaway could be fined $84,705 of his $480,000 base salary for 2018.

Schubert said on video he “got real nervous” when he found a gun part and ammunition in Callaway’s car. However, no gun was discovered in the search. Callaway said on video he owns a gun but it’s in Florida.

Callaway told Schubert on video he had been driving home from a teammate’s house.

“The explanation was a valid one, but he shouldn’t have been out at 3,” Dorsey said. “Your mother told you nothing ever good happens after midnight.”

Callaway is scheduled to appear in Strongsville Mayor’s Court at 8 a.m. Aug. 23.

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  1. I think the Browns are looking at this through ugly orange colorer glasses, just like Florida fans sometime look through beautiful orange colored glasses.

    Good ridance, enjoy those game to game checks in the NFL he won’t make it through the season without being suspended for drug use. What a waste of talent

    • Urban Meyer players acted a lot like this. He just won titles and had Timmy to cover it all up. Waste of talent because he didn’t play for UF last year? I hope he has a great career and figures it out. Rather than be difined by a few mistakes he made when he was 20.

      • Yeah Kevin, waste of talent not only because he didn’t play last year but because he dropped to the 4th round and because he keeps making the same or similar mistakes.
        Not only a “few” mistakes but plenty of them again and again, boneheaded or dumb or both. His past behavior suggests he won’t make it far because it’s only a matter of time he repeats his stupid behavior and gets canned for good.
        I’m just glad he is Cleveland’s problem now and not ours.

          • Nobody’s proposing to “crush” him, Kevin. Just to help him get his head out of his ass sooner than later, and not become yet another waste of human potential.

          • Kevin. If you think and believe Tim Tebow would intentionally work with anyone to cover up anything immoral or illegal, you simply have no clue. And, sir, you seem to have no clue. You are more than welcome to come on here and make unflattering comments about the Urban Liar, because Urban Meyer has earned that character image. And he has been a liar and likely still is one. But you need to stay way clear of attacking the character of one, Tim Tebow, on here or on any Gator Nation site. That is not going to work for you or anyone.

  2. I hope Mr. Calloway figures out what is important and has a great career. But I wouldn’t hold my breath that this is going to happen. At any rate, I’m not clicking on any more articles about him because as 6 says…we’ve got other fish to fry. 21 days and a wakeup!

    • I often wonder “what if”…..Grier had not used PEDs and if Callaway had not used drugs and stolen credit cars, along with Scarlett and the rest of that group. And if…..McElwain had hired anyone as OC other than Doug Nussmeier. But Gator Nation now has Dan Mullen, and that is a “way cooler” than the above “what ifs” in the end.

  3. these songs that pat does in his articles rarely apply to anything that has to do with the gators,
    but this one time the tim hardin/ rod stewart classic reason to believe says it all for me, other than it takes more than Antonio calloway to bring a tear to my eye.

    If I listen long enough to you
    I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true
    Knowing, that you lied, straight-faced
    While I cried
    But still I’d look to find a reason to believe
    Someone like you makes it hard to live
    Without, somebody else
    Someone like you, makes it easy to give
    Never think of myself
    If I gave you time to change my mind
    I’d find a way to leave the past behind
    Knowing that you lied, straight-faced
    While I cried
    But still I’d look to find a reason to believe
    If I listen long enough to you
    I’d find a way to believe it’s all true
    Knowing that you lied, straight-faced
    While I cried
    Still I’d look to find a reason to believe.

  4. I don’t want to sound like I am apologizing for this kid but there’s a serious lack of role model for some of these kids growing up in tough neighborhoods. By the time they reach college, they’ve basically raised themselves and have pilled on bad habits as well as bad connections. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t grow out of it and eventually become role models. It’s just easier said than done and many who have preceded them have failed. The Brown folks are obviously giving Callaway the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, they’re right because I am really pulling for the kid to succeed. He has no ill intent and is obviously hurting himself more than the’s hurting others.

    • Leaving what you know friends and habits for unknown is daunting for kids regardless of upbringings but the hood has a code if they go home to visit family and don’t do what they used to they break the hood code. Callaway, Hernandez, the other one that just left for better opportunities. Making the leap is hard. Changing for the better is a choice some cannot seem to do. Cultural and social.