Photo: Ron Schwane/AP

Shortly before the NFL draft, former Florida defensive lineman and then-prospect Caleb Brantley was charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly struck a woman in the face. A police report stated that Brantley knocked the women unconscious and may have dislodged a tooth, supposedly in retaliation for getting hit himself.

Brantley was supposed to be a second- or third-round pick, but he slipped to the sixth round of the draft, where he was selected by the Cleveland Browns. This afternoon, the Florida State Attorney’s Office dismissed the battery complaint against Brantley, citing a lack of “reliable evidence.”

“In essence,” the State Attorney’s Office said, “the facts suggest that the alleged victim’s friends engaged Brantley in an unpleasant verbal exchange, during which the alleged victim began to physically punch or assault Brantley, causing him to shove her away.”

That shove was also legal under the state’s Stand Your Ground Law, the State Attorney’s Office said. The fact that Brantley is listed at 6-2, 307 pounds and Austin weighs less than 130 does not change his right to self-defense.

Brantley issued a short statement through the team about the decision:

I’m grateful for (Wednesday’s) ruling. I won’t take the opportunity the Browns have given me for granted and now I can shift all my focus on working hard to make this football team while also showing my teammates, coaches, the organization and this community the type of person I really am.

The Browns said that Brantley’s status was up in the air after the arrest, but that matter seems settled now.

[Tampa Bay Times]