Battery charges against Cleveland Browns rookie defensive tackle Caleb Brantley were dismissed Wednesday due to insufficient evidence, State Attorney officials in Florida announced.
Brantley was charged on suspicion of misdemeanor battery following an alleged altercation with a woman in a Gainesville bar, near the University of Florida campus.
Brantley was regarded as a second- or third-round pick in the draft last month, but his stock fell dramatically because he allegedly hit a 120-pound woman in the face and knocked her unconscious at a Florida bar two weeks before the draft.
Team president Sashi Brown said at the end of the 2017 draft that the Browns would consider releasing Brantley if a police investigation turned up additional evidence, but Brown also stated that the franchise and its security team conducted an independent investigation, including interviews with witnesses and a long visit with Brantley.
Brantley participated in the three-day rookie minicamp in Berea, Ohio, that began Friday. On the advice of his attorney he did not answer questions about the incident.
"I want to do what I've shown I can do and contribute to the team," Brantley said before practice. "Hopefully, everything works out. There's definitely a chip on my shoulder. I'm just going to go out and prove everybody wrong who said bad things about me, said I have character issues and all of that. But I ain't really worried about it -- just ready to move on.
"I feel like I'm a genuine great person. I'm just out here playing football, the game that I love, trying to take care of my mom and my brother. Obviously everyone's got their opinions on social media, stuff like that, but my teammates (at the University of Florida) can speak for that, people who know me."