Ausar Walcott, the rookie linebacker who was cut by the Browns a day after he was charged with attempted murder, says he was acting in self defense.
The Bergen Record reports that Walcott’s attorney filed court papers saying that Walcott and some friends were surrounded by 10 to 20 men who were making threatening comments to them. According to his attorney, Walcott was moving away to avoid a fight and threw a punch only after he was “accosted.”
That one punch was enough to put the man he punched, Derrick Jones, in the hospital in critical condition with a serious head injury, but Jones has now recovered well enough that he has been released.
Walcott’s lawyer says he “in no way was the aggressor” in the incident and that he should not have been charged with attempted murder.
Whatever happens with Walcott legally, the charge may have been enough to end his NFL career: Walcott was an undrafted free agent who faced an uphill battle to make it in the NFL even if he avoided off-field trouble. Now Walcott will be ineligible to sign with any team until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell first clears him. Because he was a marginal player anyway, Walcott may be viewed as not worth the trouble, even if a judge or a jury believe his claim of self defense.