Cleveland Browns Had to Expect Antonio Callaway Would Burn Them

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 5: Antonio Callaway
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 5: Antonio Callaway /

Trading Corey Coleman was likely something the Cleveland Browns were planning, but in hindsight, they probably should’ve held off for at least a bit.

The general belief was Coleman was gone for three key reasons:  his injury issues, his lack of production and the fact the Browns had a young up-and-comer in training camp ready to replace him in Antonio Callaway. The Florida receiver was creating a major buzz over the past couple weeks, making some impressive plays and looking like a dynamic threat in the making.

This was hardly a surprise to several draft experts. They all agreed that from a purely athletic standpoint, Callaway had a chance to become one of the best receivers out of this draft class. So that begs the question. How did he fall to the 4th round if that’s the case? The simple answer is one word:  baggage. Callaway was in trouble off the field a lot in college. Some even felt that due to so many transgressions he might not get drafted at all.

Draft expert Dane Brugler was actually forewarned by an NFL scout about him prior to the draft.

Sure enough on the same day that Coleman gets shipped to Buffalo, Callaway is busted for marijuana possession. Not only that but the receiver failed to report the incident right away. This while Josh Gordon is still trying to recover from his long struggle with similar issues. Seeing things play out like this, it begs the question. The Browns must’ve been warned about this, right?

Browns likely understood the gamble but paid too much for it

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John Dorsey is not a rookie GM. He’s done this job for a long time dating back to his days in Kansas City. So the likelihood he was ignorant of the risks involving Callaway is slim to none. The problem isn’t the risk he took itself. There’s nothing wrong with a calculated gamble on talented players with questionable backgrounds. Several times in the past its proven to score big for teams. No, the issue is how much Dorsey surrendered for it.

A 4th round pick may not sound like a lot, but it’s fair to say with reasonable confidence the Browns likely could’ve gotten him in the 5th round or even later. Remember several experts predicted he might go undrafted. So one must ask. Did Dorsey get scared and jump the gun too soon? It certainly feels that way. Now Callaway faces a likely suspension and his first strike before even playing a down for them.

Now they’re committed. There isn’t much they can do except hope this is just a temporary setback for the young man. Otherwise it will go down as yet another poorly conceived gamble on a draft pick with serious off the field concerns.