Browns Player Agrees To Plead Guilty To Misdemeanor

By CHARLES SHEEHAN, Associated Press Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Gerard Warren of the Cleveland Browns, the third overall pick in last year's NFL draft, agreed Thursday to plead guilty to a misdemeanor firearms charge.

Warren, a defensive tackle, was arrested in Pittsburgh on Nov. 20 on charges of having a concealed weapon in his car while attending a party thrown by Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

Warren (pictured, above) signed an agreement with the Allegheny County District Attorney's office in which he agreed to plead guilty in April and receive a year's probation.

The 23-year-old defensive standout was flanked in court by his father, a brother and Browns defensive coordinator, Foge Fazio.

Police were questioning a passenger about suspected drug use in Warren's Chevrolet Suburban parked outside a nightclub when they spotted an empty gun holster. According to the police report, a handgun belonging to Warren was found locked inside a console in the vehicle.

Warren had ownership papers for the weapon, but did not have a license for the gun, his attorney, Robert Del Greco, said. The weapon was a gift from his brother, a former sheriff's deputy in Gainesville, Fla., Del Greco said.

Warren was suspended for one game without pay by the Browns.

"It's a shame that this occurred, but we are satisfied with the agreement," Del Greco said. Under NFL bylaws, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue may fine or suspend any player after a conviction, but he is not required to do so. The league had no comment.

Warren is scheduled to formally enter his guilty plea April 19.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)