The Cleveland Browns are taking a chance that defensive tackle Malik McDowell has turned his life around.
The Browns signed the troubled free agent Monday. Terms were not disclosed.
In a statement posted on Twitter by several reporters, Browns general manager Andrew Berry addressed McDowell’s past.
“We are certainly aware of Malik’s past,” Berry said. “He is accountable for his actions and has had to live with the consequences for decisions earlier in his life. We believe Malik is in a good place, personally and medically. He has taken the necessary steps to get on a healthy path, and has learned from his experiences. Malik understands the expectations we have of him as he attempts to make our football team. He is committed to taking advantage of the support network in place to become the best version of himself — both on and off the field — and we will support him as he attempts to make his return to football.”
McDowell, a 2017 second-round draft pick (35th overall) of the Seattle Seahawks, never played for Seattle after he suffered a head injury in an ATV accident the summer after he was drafted. The Seahawks waived him and placed him on the non-football injury list. There were questions about whether he’d ever be medically cleared to play.
He was arrested twice in 2017 before the Seahawks placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list.
In February 2019 he was charged with assault, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The Seahawks released him a month later.
In April 2019 he was arrested for receiving and concealing stolen property after he was found with a stolen car. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 11 months in prison in November 2019.