April 23, 2024

Antonio Calloway: A Promising Talent with Troubled Times


Antonio Calloway, a highly regarded four-star recruit out of college, secured a scholarship to the University of Florida. While at Florida, he faced allegations that cast a shadow over his career. Nonetheless, Calloway showcased his talent during his freshman season, amassing an impressive 35 receptions, 678 yards and four touchdowns (TDs). In his sophomore year in 2016, Calloway continued to shine with 54 receptions, 721 yards, and three touchdowns. He was praised for his route running and exceptional speed. Unfortunately, his journey was cut short following a suspension in 2017 due to a sexual assault allegation. Despite being later found not guilty, his draft stock plummeted, and teams saw him as a risky investment, proving their concerns right.

However, the Cleveland Browns saw potential in Calloway and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. In a draft where they made waves by selecting Baker Mayfield as their first pick, followed by Denzel Ward and later Nick Chubb in the second round, the Browns decided to trade their picks to the New England Patriots in exchange for the 105th overall pick, using it to select Calloway. It was considered a steal, as they didn’t give up much for his potential.

Calloway signed a four-year deal worth $3.17 million, including a $717,000 signing bonus. Unfortunately, there were some Hard Knocks during the season, as Calloway received a citation in Ohio for possessing marijuana and driving with a suspended license during a 3 am traffic stop. Fortunately, the charges for the weed were dropped, but he had to pay a fine of over $900 for the violation.

In 2018, Calloway had an impressive season, becoming Baker Mayfield’s favorite target on the Cleveland Browns. In his rookie year, he played 16 games, recording 43 receptions on 79 targets, 586 yards, and five touchdowns. However, trouble found Calloway again during the summer of the following year. He received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Although he was later reinstated, his character took a hit. He started showing up late to training and meetings, leading the Browns to cut ties with him due to his off-field issues. The Browns also made a trade for Odell Beckham Jr.

Calloway attempted a comeback in 2020 with the XFL, but the COVID pandemic hindered his plans. In September of that year, the Miami Dolphins offered him a chance and signed him to their practice squad. After serving his suspension, he was upgraded to the active roster on November 14th for a game against the LA Chargers. Calloway’s contributions to the Dolphins were limited before he was subsequently signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately, injuries cut short his time with the Chiefs, leading to his release. Finally, the Dallas Cowboys gave Calloway an opportunity after trading Amari Cooper and dealing with Michael Gallup’s injuries. However, his chance with the Cowboys didn’t go well as he was arrested in Miami for driving with a suspended license and failing to pay. Knowing his rights could have saved him from this situation, but unfortunately, he ended up being released by the Cowboys.

It is unfortunate to see talented players like Calloway caught in these types of situations, as it has been a recurring pattern for him and others like Henry Ruggs and Josh Gordon. Such poor decisions can cost them not only their future but also millions of dollars. We must all be aware that our actions have consequences and be accountable for our decisions.

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