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Browns cut Bess after one season

Hawaii alumnus was arrested in offseason

March 6, 2014
By TOM WITHERS , The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Davone Bess had a disappointing first season with the Cleveland Browns. His offseason was far more disturbing.

The team released the troubled wide receiver Wednesday, ending his stay in Cleveland after less than one year and following a pattern of bizarre behavior that included his arrest for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

Bess, a University of Hawaii alumnus, never lived up to on-field expectations and his personal problems gave the Browns no alternative but to end their relationship.

Article Photos

Davone Bess finished with 42 catches for 362 yards — both career lows — last season for the Cleveland Browns.
AP file photo

The team announced his release with one line on the team's Twitter account.

The 28-year-old Bess, who was acquired last April from the Miami Dolphins, is still owed $3.06 million for 2014, but Cleveland may try to recoup some of that money. A team spokesman would not say if Bess had broken any agreements on his contract.

The Browns traded for Bess during the draft last year, and the team immediately signed the sure-handed veteran to a three-year, $11.5 million contract extension that included $5.75 million guaranteed.

Bess finished with career-lows in catches (42) and yards (362) last season, and had several crucial drops that hurt the Browns.

He missed Cleveland's final two games for personal reasons and after the season ended, other issues surfaced.

One day after Bess left the team, a photo posted on his Instagram account showed him sitting on a deck next to a picture of reggae icon Bob Marley and lighting a cigarette or joint with a Rastafarian flag draped around his shoulders and neck. The following day, the Browns placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list and former coach Rob Chudzinski explained Bess was dealing with a family issue.

On Jan. 16, Bess posted a photo on his Twitter page of a small package containing what appeared to be marijuana. The photo was later deleted, but it raised further questions about his judgment.

Those concerns grew the following day when Bess was charged with assault on an officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct following a confrontation at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

According to the police report, Bess was "acting irrationally, dancing, singing with his pants repeatedly falling down." Bess also reportedly took up a "fighting stance" with the officer, who hit Bess on the leg with a baton to no effect.

It was later learned that Bess had a run-in with police shortly before he was traded to Cleveland and his family had him hospitalized against his will.



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