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Tuesday, October 6, 2009
NFL investigating Browns' Edwards

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- The NFL is investigating whether Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards violated the league's conduct policy following accusations he assaulted a man outside a nightclub.

Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James, early Monday morning following an argument in downtown Cleveland.

"We are looking into it," league spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "It is premature to speculate about potential discipline."

Although Edwards has not been charged with a crime, the league's conduct policy states that discipline may be imposed for "the use or threat of violence."

Cleveland police are also looking deeper into the allegations against Edwards -- at the request of city prosecutor Victor Perez's office.

Edwards may also face team discipline from first-year Browns coach Eric Mangini, who earlier this season fined a player $1,700 for not paying for a $3 bottle of water during a hotel stay.

"Personal conduct is very important to me," Mangini said Monday. "It's important for us and to the players. It's important today, it's important tomorrow."

Edwards has not been available for comment. The Browns locker room will be open to the media on Wednesday before practice.

Police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said officers were trying to collect information on the case and identify possible witnesses. Stacho said he had no additional information on how many other people might have been involved or if teammates of Edwards were at the scene.

"That is information that we will try to get," Stacho said.

Givens told the Plain Dealer that some unidentified Browns players were trying to pull Edwards back when he threw a punch.

Braylon Edwards

Edwards

Mangini said he was still gathering information on the incident, which took place hours after the Browns fell to 0-4 with a 23-20 overtime loss to Cincinnati. Edwards had gotten into a skirmish with Bengals defensive lineman Pat Sims in the third quarter and finished the game without a reception -- a first in his pro career.

James was critical of Edwards, calling his actions "childish" for punching his friend, who told police he was working at View Ultralounge & Nightclub when he got into an argument with Edwards. Givens said Edwards punched him on the left side of the face.

Edwards has been involved in other off-field incidents, a factor commissioner Roger Goodell considers when handing out any discipline.

In March, Edwards was partying with suspended wide receiver Donte' Stallworth in Miami the night Stallworth later drove drunk and killed a pedestrian. Edwards was not with Stallworth at the time of the accident.

Last November, Edwards was fined $150 and given 30 hours of community service after he was found guilty of driving 120 mph.