The misdemeanor battery charge against Browns rookie defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was dismissed Wednesday due to “insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction,” according to Alachua County (Fla.) Court records.
Brantley, who played college football at the University of Florida, had been charged on suspicion of misdemeanor battery following an alleged physical altercation with a woman, according to a Gainesville Police Department report. Brantley at the time of the alleged incident was considered one of the top interior defensive line prospects in the 2017 draft, but fell to the sixth round after his charge came to light.
“I’m grateful for today’s ruling,” Brantley said in a statement released by the Browns. “I won’t take the opportunity the Browns have given me for granted and now I can shift all my focus on working hard to make this football team while also showing my teammates, coaches, the organization and this community the type of person I really am.”
The Browns selected Brantley with the 185th pick in the draft, and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported at the time that Cleveland deeply researched the matter and personally visited with Brantley before making the pick.
Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown told reporters after the draft, however, the team could decide not to keep Brantley depending on the investigation into the charge.
“Based on our information, we understood there was a reasonable chance that the charges would be dismissed,” Brown said in a statement. “As we have previously discussed, the allegations made regarding the incident were not something we take lightly. Caleb understands that we have an expectation and standard for every member of our organization. He’s a talented-young man with a great opportunity in front of him. Caleb must grow as a person from this situation. He is now able to move forward and focus on earning a spot on this roster.”