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Former Browns Number One Pick Kellen Winslow, Jr. Trial set to Begin

Could serve the rest of his life in prison if convicted on all charges

2007 ESPY Awards - Arrivals Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images

In 2004, tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. out of the University of Miami was the Browns number one draft pick and he proclaimed he was “The Chosen One.” On Monday, his defense team was busy choosing a jury that would decide his new future.

As reported by FOX5 television station in San Diego where the trial is being held in Vista, California, jury selection began and the trial is set to begin. He is facing life in prison with a barrage of charges.

Winslow, Jr.’s charges span a wide array of time periods. He is charged with felonies of sexual assault on the same homeless woman twice as two counts of forcible rape, plus first-degree burglary, two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit rape, one count of forcible oral copulation, one count of forcible sodomy, one count of indecent exposure and two counts of residential burglary. In addition, he has misdemeanor charges of elder abuse, battery of an elderly person, and lewd conduct.

Last March, while awaiting trial on the first-degree burglary and out on a $2 million bond, he was arrested for lewd conduct for touching himself in the presence of a 77-year old woman in a hot tub at a local health club. That action resulted in his bond being revoked and he has since been incarcerated without bond.

All of these charges could result in Winslow, Jr. being put away for life. Three separate cases were originally scheduled but have been combined into one jury trial. He has pled not guilty to all charges.

It is speculated that part of his defense could be the result of the brain disease CTE. However, at this time this is only found to be positive once the subject is deceased and a study is performed. His defense team could attempt to use a mental defect defense as a possibility. There are multiple women who currently stand as his accusers, including two elderly women and a then-17 year old female in an incident that occurred in 2003.

Winslow, Jr. was a highly-touted offensive threat coming out of college where he was a unanimous All-American and had captured the John Mackey Award for college football’s best tight end. The Browns were slated to select at the number 7 slot in the first-round, then traded a second-round pick and swap one position with the Detroit Lions in order to take Winslow, Jr. with the sixth pick. Still on the board at the time were QB Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers), DT Vince Wilfork (Patriots), RB Steven Jackson (Rams), SS Bob Sanders (Colts) and OG Chris Snee (Giants).

His first two seasons in Cleveland was a wash as Winslow, Jr. broke his right fibula his rookie year and then had a motorcycle wreck that eliminated his entire sophomore season. He rebounded with his best season in 2007 where he gained 1,106 yards on 82 receptions, five TDs and made the Pro Bowl. The following year he dipped to 43 catches for 428 yards and a mere three TDs.

He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a second and fifth-round draft pick and then signed a six-year $36 million contract. He led the Bucs in receiving for three seasons. Even though he was productive, the club felt his salary did not match his production and then was traded again, this time to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks attempted to sign him for less money and when he declined, he was waived a week before the 2012 opening game. The New England Patriots picked him, but after one game he was released. The New York Jets signed him the following year, however, after playing in three games he was suspended for four game for violating the league’s PED program and later released after he was arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana.

After sitting out two seasons, he had a workout with the Green Bay Packers but was not signed. He later played in the developmental Spring League in 2017 and was invited back to the 2018 Spring League, but did not play. Winslow, Jr. is the son of legendary NFL tight end Kellen Winslow who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

2007 ESPY Awards - Arrivals Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images