- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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As the dust settles on the reality that the Cleveland Browns will have to wait two more weeks if they want to hire Dan Quinn (Seattle DC) or Adam Gase (Denver OC), the Davone Bess situation continues to linger. Bess was arrested for more bizarre behavior last Friday, and word broke through the Miami Herald later the same day that Bess had been hospitalized by his family a month prior to his trade to the Browns.
The Browns have said little on the issue other than they are looking into it, but that hasn't stopped some from weighing in with some strong and forceful opinions.
The first comes from Miami, where the Herald's longtime excellent beat writer Armando Salguero discussed whether the Dophins acted ethically and with integrity by not disclosing everything they knew about Bess prior to the trade. Salguero writes that the Dolphins told the Browns to "do their homework," but adds: "Credibility and respect are currency in the NFL and no one wants to be bankrupt."
Bud Shaw of the Plain Dealer started a very insightful analysis on Friday by asking: "Remember when Davone Bess was considered a shining example of the “smart decisions” promised by Joe Banner?" In Sunday's paper, he had a more lengthy but just as insightful analysis that said: "... trading for (Bess) and giving him a contract extension is a major embarrassment for an organization that just this week asked season ticket holders to put their trust in a 'methodical' coaching search." Clearly the Browns were not methodical about Bess -- Shaw quips that Haslam is so angry about he called Rob Chudzinski and fired him again -- and clearly some hard questions are being asked.
Some of those were asked by Bruce Hooley of ESPN-Clevleand, who mixed no words in saying the situation with Bess is an example of the "glaring ineptitude" of General Manager Mike Lombardi. Hooley writes: "Lombardi’s failure to – through his web of scouts and NFL insiders he often trumpets – learn of Bess’ March arrest shows him undeserving of the trust a team must have in a general manager charged with reshaping the roster through the upcoming college draft."
The Browns, meanwhile, say little about Bess and the how this trade and situation came to be.