It’s no secret that the rope for late round draft picks and undrafted free agents isn’t nearly as long as it for first round selections. The Cleveland Browns considered dumping defensive end Armonty Bryant when he was arrested for DUI just a week after being selected by the team in the seventh-round of the draft.
But the Browns gave Bryant a second opportunity and he doesn’t intend to let it go to waste. The first step was admitting he had to get his act together. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Bryant realizes he has a problem with illegal substances but is working to put the struggles behind him.
“I thought at times I was above the game, and that’s one thing they’ve been teaching us at the symposium – don’t be above the game,” Bryant said.
“It’s a blessing that I’m even here playing this game and living out a dream of mine. So don’t take advantage of this, and I feel that’s exactly what I did.”
Bryant said a speech from former NBA player Chris Herren helped serve as a wake-up call as to what could be in store for his future if he didn’t get back on track. Herren battled drugs throughout college and his professional basketball career in the NBA and overseas before finally getting his life together. In addition, Bryant has been rooming with Browns’ first-round pick Barkevious Mingo during offseason workouts and credits him for helping keep him occupied and from getting into trouble.
“He’s just been keeping me focused and just really helping me out through my situation and everything. We go out, go watch a movie, go out to dinner, just get my mind of stuff like that,” Bryant said.
It’s good to see Bryant try to get his life together. Assuming he’s already in the league’s substance-abuse program following the DUI arrest he’s only one more incident away from a suspension that could damage his hopes of an elongated NFL career. Hopefully for the Browns and Bryant, it’s an issue they won’t need to worry about in the future.