Tue, Jun 6, 2023 4:32 PM
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski expressed relief that two of his defensive players were not physically harmed while being robbed at gunpoint by six masked men outside a downtown nightclub.
According to Cleveland Police, the players had jewelry and a truck taken during the early morning stickup.
Police redacted the names of the players in a field case report. However, a person familiar with the situation identified the players as cornerback Greg Newsome II and tackle Perrion Winfrey. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The Browns opened mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. After the workout, Stefanski said he has spoken to Chief Wayne Drummond.
“I’m glad our guys are OK,” he said. "I want all of our community to be safe. The Cleveland Police have been outstanding. We want everybody to be safe and we want to get violent people off of our streets.”
Stefanski did not reveal the players' names.
According to the report, one of the players was returning to his truck in a parking lot at 3:30 a.m. Monday when the masked suspects jumped out of a car and robbed him of jewelry before fleeing in his vehicle. The player told police he was not injured.
Newsome, a starting cornerback drafted by the Browns in the first round in 2021 from Northwestern, posted Monday night, "It’s a cruel world we live in” on Twitter.
All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said he spoke to both Newsome and Winfrey, offering his support.
“I’m just glad to see they’re all right,” he said. "Just making sure they’re in the right head space, they feel like they’re surrounded by family and letting them know that anything that they need, we’re the perfect resource for them and we have their back with whatever happens.
“We're just going to try to make sure that none of our guys are ever in that situation again and how we can help, we’re going to do that. But I’m just glad to see them safe and sound with us and still walking around. Still blessed to this day no matter what happens, still able to wake up in the morning and just glad to that we still have them here.”
Newsome was on the field as the Browns opened their three-day minicamp, while there was no sign of Winfrey, a former Oklahoma defensive tackle arrested in April on a misdemeanor assault charge in Texas.
In a separate incident, Browns running back Demetric Felton had his vehicle stolen from a downtown parking garage on Sunday.
Garrett has been outspoken about his fondness for Cleveland and said the incidents have not changed his feelings about the city.
“It shows that me, my team, all of us here at the Browns have more work to do in the community,” he said. “There’s more that we can do here. There’s still more lessons that we need to give each other, because it’s not just one side or another side. Things like this happen because of so many different actions that led up to that.”
NOTES: WR Amari Cooper understands why QB Deshaun Watson was campaigning for the Browns to sign free agent DeAndre Hopkins, recently released by Arizona. Watson and Hopkins were together for three seasons in Houston. “Who wouldn’t?” Cooper said. “DeAndre has been a very great player in this league. Obviously, they have a lot of great chemistry. If I was him, I'd want the same thing.” Cooper knows if the Browns sign Hopkins, his production will be impacted. “As long as it’s helping us win, I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Cooper said. ... Stefanski said WR Anthony Schwartz is dealing with an unspecified injury. ... Watson made several nice throws in the red zone for touchdowns during 7-on-7 drills. ... Garrett said legendary running back Jim Brown's recent death has impacted many of the players. ”Jim Brown was everything here,” Garrett said. “He’s been the blueprint. He’s been the role model for a lot of us players and as men. We look up to him."