After an embarrassing mug shot made the Internet rounds, new Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant still caught a big pay day thanks to his play — but a spectacle this unbecoming will be hard to forget for a little while.
Facing the press after signing a five-year, $34 million contract with $15 million guaranteed is typically a more comfortable occasion for athletes. Much less so when it comes a month after arrest on a criminal mischief charge that produced said mugshot.
“I obviously made a mistake,” Bryant said at his introductory press conference after leaving the Oakland Raiders for Cleveland. “I apologize for everything that happened, but I feel like I’ve learned from it and moved on. I think I’ve done enough over the years I’ve been in the league to exhibit that’s really not the kind of person I am. I think in time I’ll be able to show you guys and whoever else wants to know that’s really not indicative of me. It was an accident. I’ve moved beyond that and hopefully everybody else will be able to.”
Any concerns about this hurting his NFL free agency stock were put to rest when the Browns made him a very rich man this week.
Cleveland’s roster was horrendously short on pass rushers after Juqua Parker‘s departure and even prior. Now they boast a fearsome looking 3-4 with Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard rushing off the edge and Bryant — who according to Pro Football Focus ranked fourth among defensive tackles in quarterback pressures in 2012 — holding down the end spot.