The Browns announced the release of receiver
Bess had a league-high 14 drops and topped 28 yards in just three of 14 games in 2013. He finished last season on the Non-Football Injury list.
Bess finished last season on the Non-Football Injury list and the team thinks they can withhold the salary because of that. Bess will likely challenge the move.
"We are in communication," general manager Ray Farmer said. "I can't comment too much about where the circumstance is. Just understand that we are concerned for Davone, and I think that’s the biggest thing, is to make sure that he gets the help that he needs. ... The biggest thing is that Davone's care and his concern is our biggest thing right now. The dates are inconsequential. Moving forward, we'll make the decision that we need to make for our franchise, as well as making sure that he's going to get the care and the things that he needs in the process."
Bess was arrested at a South Florida airport in mid-January for assaulting an officer/firefighter and has posted pictures on his Twitter account of marijuana and nudes of himself. He was allegedly hospitalized for personal reasons before the Browns traded for him.
Bess had a league-high 14 drops and topped 28 yards in just three of 14 games in 2013.
The report says the Browns will make a decision on Bess when the league year begins March 11. Bess was given $5.75 million guaranteed after being acquired in a trade with the Dolphins.
If the Browns decide to release Bess, they could try to recoup some of that money, including at least a portion of the $3 million-plus he's owed in 2014. The Browns might also decide to file a grievance against the Dolphins, who knew that Bess had been involuntarily hospitalized for erratic behavior six weeks before they traded him to Cleveland.
Nelson, who was waived by the Browns before the season, had not noticed anything unusual about Bess as a teammate.
"I had tremendous respect for Bess," Nelson told ESPN. "When I was there, our lockers were next to each other's. He was excited to be there. I found him to be great for Josh (Gordon). He worked hard. Josh saw that. Everybody saw that.
"The stuff I heard (before the game) was all uncharacteristic of things I'd seen when I was there. He ended up leading the league in drops (he was actually second with 14) and he'd never done that before. Everything that happened was uncharacteristic of him, so you know something must have happened to him."
Bess was later placed on the non-football injury list due to his personal problems, which was followed by his well-chronicled bizarre behavior that led to his arrest.
"We've been in contact and we're trying to do everything we can to support and help Davone through the entire process," he said via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I don't want to answer anything beyond what I just said."
The Browns placed Bess on the non-football illness list late in the season, but did not specify the reason. Thus ended a miserable season for Bess, who finished among the league leaders in drops and posted career-worst totals in catches and receiving yards.
His offseason has been marked by Twitter and Instagram postings of drugs and nude photos, as well as an arrest for assaulting a security officer in a Florida airport.
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