When the Cleveland Browns traded up in the fourth round to select the enigmatic Antonio Callaway, they knew there were a lot of factors at play. While he’s clearly a talented player—most experts pegged him as a first-round talent, a variety off-the-field issues caused the speedster to drop in the draft. Ahead of the Browns’ first preseason game on Thursday, questions about Callaway’s behavior once again came into the spotlight, with the wide receiver being cited for marijuana possession early Sunday morning.
Browns Wide Receiver Antonio Callaway Cited For Marijuana Possession
At 2:59 a.m. on Sunday, the Browns wide receiver was stopped for a traffic violation, after a Strongsville police officer felt Callaway didn’t yield properly ahead of oncoming traffic. During the stop, police hit Calloway with two citations for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.
Luckily for Callaway, it was determined that the amount of cannabis found was only punishable by a misdemeanor.
However, considering Callaway’s checkered past, the petty marijuana possession charge looms a bit larger than it would for any other player.
Last year—his final season at Florida— Callaway was suspended for his role in a credit card fraud case. Then, in February, Callaway tested positive for marijuana during the NFL Draft combine.
The citations also come at a somewhat precarious time for Callaway. The Browns just traded their 2016 first round pick Corey Coleman to the Buffalo Bills for a late round draft pick. Following the move, Callaway was promoted to first-team wide receiver opposite of newly acquired receiver Jarvis Landry. According to head coach Hue Jackson, Callaway has been picking up the Browns offense and showing the team the talent which led to the front office’s risky selection.
“I think he’s starting to really get the system, learning how to do things the way we want them done,” Jackson said. “I was back there when he was returning punts. He said, ‘Coach, I haven’t played in a year.’ He’s really looking forward to Thursday night. I want to make sure that he goes out there on Thursday and plays the way we think he can play.”
At this point, it’s unclear how the league will punish Antonio Callaway, if at all. However, there is reason to believe he will face discipline from the league, considering their conservative approach to cannabis.
Callaway is already in Stage 1 of the NFL’s substance abuse program stemming from his February incident. Per the league’s rules, any further cannabis use could result in a suspension. If the league determines he is now a Stage 2 offender, Callaway could get the league-mandated four-game ban. However, considering it’s just a misdemeanor possession charge, it’s no guarantee Callaway will face suspension.
The Cleveland Browns released a statement following the incident during one of the team’s practices. They were first made aware of the news on Tuesday.
“We’re aware of the citation are in the process of gathering more information and will comment further at the appropriate time.”
Coincidentally, the Browns made their debut on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see if this storyline pops up in a later episode of the acclaimed behind-the-scenes series.