Browns sign free agent with troubled past


Malik McDowell is former second round draft pick from Michigan State

Defensive tackle Malik McDowell, the Seattle Seahawks’ top draft pick, watches a drill during NFL football rookie minicamp, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Cleveland Browns signed free agent defensive tackle Malik McDowell on Monday.

McDowell is 6 foot 6, 295 pounds and a former second round draft pick from Michigan State. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 with the 35th overall pick but never played a snap in the NFL.

An injury suffered in an ATV accident cost him his entire rookie season with Seattle, and he was released by the team in 2019.

McDowell was arrested for driving under the influence in September of 2017 and again in December for disorderly conduct.

In February of 2019, McDowell was charged with assault, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Then later in April, he was arrested again for receiving and concealing stolen property after police found a stolen car in his possession.

In October of 2019, he pleaded guilty to those criminal charges and was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

In a release from the team, Browns EVP of Football Operations and GM Andrew Berry said, “We are certainly aware of Malik’s past, as we have done extensive work on him for the last two months. 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,” Berry added. “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.”

At Michigan State, McDowell appeared in 36 games and recorded 90 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and one interception.

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