Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Move with Davone Bess was expected
By Pat McManamon
The Cleveland Browns surprised nobody by releasingDavone Bess on Wednesday. The move followed Bess' troubled offseason that included some bizarre tweets and being arrested at Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Bess also was a disappointment on the field, as he never lived up to the leadership role the team envisioned when it acquired him from Miami in the offseason.
Bess caught just 42 passes for 362 yards. He dropped nine passes, tied for the third-highest total in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also left the team prior to the 15th game. The team attributed it to a family issue, but when Bess started tweeting photos of himself with marijuana paraphernalia it was evident there may have been other issues. His tweets got more and more bizarre in the offseason, and word soon broke that prior to the trade from Miami, Bess had been hospitalized by his family for emotional issues.
Former Browns general manager Mike Lombardi, contacted shortly after he left the team, declined to comment on whether the team had done a background check on Bess.
The Browns gave Bess a new contract that was worth $5.75 million in guaranteed money, including $3.067 million in 2014. The Browns did not mention the guarantee in the release, but they could try to void the guarantee based on his behavior.
Bess' release confirms the need for a third receiver. The team recently made center Alex Mack its transition player, but also released inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. The Browns also have not been able to come to an agreement with free-agent-to-be safety T.J. Ward.