Lions give troubled pass rusher Bryant another chance

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Cleveland Browns no longer wanted to deal with Armonty Bryant following the conclusion of his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. They waived the fourth-year edge defender on Monday, despite a desperate need for pass-rushing help. 

“We are laying the right foundation here,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “It is important to do it the right way. We have a standard that we want to hold our players to, our organization to — coaches, players, everybody.”

But the Detroit Lions, another team in need of a pass-rushing boost, quickly snapped Bryant off waivers. Coach Jim Caldwell, who has routinely promoted the importance of second chances, said the team felt comfortable bringing Bryant aboard.

“Every situation is a little bit different,” Caldwell said. “We look at them that way. We vet it and if we’re comfortable with it. We do exactly what we’ve done before in previous situations similar to this.

“We were comfortable with the information that we were able to receive to make a good, informed decision.”

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Bryant admits he was caught off guard by the Browns letting him go, but he’s eager to prove himself, on and off the field, with the Lions.

“It’s very unfortunate, but I’m here now trying to contribute to this team,” Bryant said. “That’s my goal, clean up my act a little bit. That’s just the past. I’m just here to help this team win.”

Bryant, a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, has had multiple legal issues.

In college, he was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer and also pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol. Prior to his suspension this season, he was charged with felony drug possession after a December traffic stop, pleading guilty to a reduced, misdemeanor charge in July.

In 14 games for the Browns last season, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bryant recorded 40 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

Twitter: @justin_rogers