BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Although Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was selected by the Browns with the first pick in the sixth round, he may not stay around long.
Brantley was arrested and charged according to court records with a misdemeanor count of simple battery on April 21, 2017 following an incident with a woman on April 13 in which he is accused of hitting her with a closed fist, knocking her unconscious and dislodging a tooth.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown addressed the controversial selection shortly after making the pick.
“It’s something that is very concerning for us and continues to be a concern,” Brown said. “From our standpoint we communicated to Caleb how serious of a matter this is to us. This is something he can’t repeat as he moves forward, and more importantly than that we communicated to Caleb that this is still something that we’re investigating and looking in to and that facts may turn up that prevent us from being able to keep him on our roster.
“We did fell like at this point in the draft and what we knew so far…but based on what we knew so far of the person, the player, the incident that this was an OK point in the draft to take him.”
The case involving Brantley is unresolved.
“We will continue to investigate on our end and provided we can get comfortable we’ll keep him on the roster. If we can’t, we’ll move on,” Brown said.
According to the police report describing the incident, Brantley was pushed first by the victim but that the “use of force was clearly out of retaliation and not self defense” and that it “far exceeded what was reasonable or necessary.”
Two witnesses saw Brantley punch the woman according to police.
Brantley, listed at 6-foot-3, 307 pounds, was projected by many to be a second- or third-round selection following his junior season that saw him register 9 1/2 tackles for loss and 2 1/2 sacks in 13 games, including 11 starts for the Gators.
“We’re happy to add a player that has a talent level that is something that can add to our team and help us win but the precondition to that is for us to get comfortable with the incident,” Brown said.