Former NFL DE Armonty Bryant announces retirement

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(Photo: Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports)

Former Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions defensive end Armonty Bryant has retired from the NFL.

"However hard this may be, and although not the way I wanted to end my career, God has a funny way of timing things out in our lives. Just before I got a chance to finish my career strong I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. Due to this I am forced to announce my official retirement from the sport I have eaten, breathed, slept, dreamt and loved for my entire life. But this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning of so much more that is coming. I have started a business with a woman I soon get to call my wife. And these opportunities we have together are endless. This is just the start of something out of this world huge! Be ready and stay tuned for all that’s coming from the Bryant’s!," he wrote on Instagram.

The East Central product was taken in the seventh round, No. 217 overall, of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Browns. Prior to being drafted, he pleaded no contest twice to selling marijuana in college and was sentenced to probation. On Christmas Day, 2015, he was arrested during a traffic stop for speeding and police found Oxycodone and Adderall in his vehicle. The following season, he was suspended for the first four games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. He played four seasons in Cleveland before he was finally released.

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The Lions claimed him on waivers in the days to follow his release. After serving his suspension, his season ended on the injured reserve with a knee injury. He was re-signed by Detroit in 2017 but the issues continued. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season after violating the league's substance abuse policy. When he was reinstated, the Lions released him.

He was unemployed for six months before the Raiders picked him up. A month after being signed, without ever playing a down, he retired with a 'non-football illness designation.'

Bryant displayed a lot of promise during his career but he was never able to stay on the field either for health or substance abuse concerns. During the 2015 campaign, he recorded 5.5 sacks, 40 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in reserve duty over the course of 14 games. His career ended having played 36 games - a little more than two full regular season despite being in the league five season - with 45 tackles, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

His last NFL game was played Dec. 4, 2016. 

Best of luck to him post-playing career.

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