Browns cut WR Antonio Callaway hours before kickoff amid reported substance-abuse ban

Hours before kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, the Cleveland Browns announced that they have released second-year wide receiver Antonio Callaway.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Callaway is facing a 10-game suspension for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Callaway appealed the suspension last week, according to the report, arguing that the positive test resulted from a tainted CBD product.

Callaway started season serving drug ban

Callaway started the season serving a four-game suspension for a substance-abuse violation and has played sparingly since.

The Browns gambled on Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft, betting that his upside and talent would outweigh the red flags that surfaced from a tumultuous college career at Florida.

It became evident that his on-field performance didn’t warrant dealing with the off-field headaches he created.

Antonio Callaway is reportedly facing a 10-game ban for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

Callaway’s time in Cleveland

Callaway appeared in four of Cleveland’s nine games this season, tallying eight catches for 89 yards. He was inactive for last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills after reportedly arriving late to the stadium.

A speedy receiver with game-breaking potential, Callaway showed promise as a rookie, totaling 586 yards and five touchdowns on 43 catches. His football talent had him graded higher than the fourth-round slot the Browns used on him out of Florida, but multiple incidents resulted in his fall down the draft board.

Troubles at Florida

He was one of nine Florida players suspended for the entire 2017 season for his involvement in a credit card scam.

As a freshman, he faced a sexual assault investigation before a Title IX officer declined to bring charges.

He was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2017 and failed a planned drug test at the NFL combine, testing positive for marijuana.

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