The agent for Browns rookie defensive end Armonty Bryant said his client was “remorseful,” after pleading no contest to a recent DUI charge, the kind of trouble he said he was going to avoid after a college arrest for selling marijuana twice to an undercover agent.
Now, he plans to show up for the Browns’ rookie minicamp this weekend, hoping he’s still welcome.
“We’re going on the premise that he’ll be accepted at rookie camp and that it’s all systems go,” agent Marc Lillibridge told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We haven’t heard otherwise. Armonty knows the Browns are upset about this, and they should be. But he’s determined to move forward and have a tremendous career with the Cleveland Browns.”
With his plea on the DUI arrest, Bryant got what amounts to probation from the state of Oklahoma, though it doesn’t violate the terms of the probation he was on for the drug charge.
“Armonty made a mistake and he’s very remorseful,” Lillibridge said. “He was very distraught and felt he let a lot of people down, especially the Cleveland Browns. He was adamant about getting ahold of [general manager] Mike Lombardi and making sure the Browns heard it from him. . . .
“He told me, ‘I’m getting XBox Live and I’m not leaving the house,’. He said, ‘having a few beers is not worth giving up my football career.’”
But a self-imposed house-arrest with a video game probably isn’t the first step toward a productive career in the NFL either.
The thing Bryant’s agent is hoping for — so he gets 3 percent of something instead of 3 percent of nothing — is that the Browns insulate Bryant and offer the kind of support the defensive end apparently hasn’t had.
“As long as they surround him with a strong supporting cast, Armonty will be fine,” Lillibridge said. “He’s really a great kid who wants to do the right thing. Hopefully he’ll be telling his story in eight years, how he got out to rough start and overcame it and had a great career.”
Now it’s largely up to the Browns, and to what degree they’re willing to babysit a seventh-rounder who embarrassed them before he even showed up to work.