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Browns release former UH receiver Davone Bess

By Tom Withers

AP Sports Writer

LAST UPDATED: 03:49 p.m. HST, Mar 05, 2014

CLEVELAND » Davone Bess had a disappointing first season with the 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, who was acquired last April from Miami, never lived up to on-field expectations and his personal problems gave the Browns no alternative but to end their relationship.

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

The 28-year-old Bess is still owed $3.06 million for 2014, but the Browns 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. The Browns believed Bess would fill a hole at slot receiver and bring leadership to their young wideouts, including Josh Gordon, Greg Little and Travis Benjamin.

However, Bess didn't deliver at all and his personal problems escalated in recent months.

Bess finished with career-lows in catches (42) and yards (362) last season, and he had several crucial drops that hurt the Browns. Bess, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Dolphins, also muffed a punt in Kansas City, costing the Browns a chance to upset the then-unbeaten Chiefs. He never ducked any criticism for the poor performance, owned up to his mistakes and bounced back with two touchdown catches the following week in a win over Baltimore.

However, 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.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said he did not know about Bess' hospitalization before the team traded for him. The team initially vowed to support Bess, who may still face NFL discipline for his legal misstep. It's not yet clear if he plans to continue his football career.

The team also released wide receiver Brian Tyms and linebacker Paul Hazel.

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kailuabred wrote:
on March 5,2014 | 07:15AM
1local wrote:
product of the UH system....
on March 5,2014 | 08:43AM
JBS wrote:
Nice! Two classy comments! Mental illness can hit anybody regardless of income or occupation. Feel better now about your own lives "kailuabred" and "1local"?
on March 5,2014 | 10:33AM
Grimbold wrote:
Baloney mental illness , it is drug use and thinking to get away with it!
on March 5,2014 | 03:34PM
Slow wrote:
Get away with what?
on March 5,2014 | 03:41PM
palolo2001 wrote:
Very sad for his family.
on March 5,2014 | 06:43PM
Grimbold wrote:
I meant to say .. that the person thinks he can get away with it.
on March 5,2014 | 07:07PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Guess you're a product of NO education.
on March 5,2014 | 12:28PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Well said about yourself. Gutless, soul less, devoid of all human compassion. Well, somebody bred you and sure doesn't seem anything human. Probably too much inbreeding in Kailua.
on March 5,2014 | 12:27PM
Grimbold wrote:
Compassion with foul behavior? Excuses for bad life style? The heck with this.
on March 5,2014 | 03:36PM
Slow wrote:
Apparently you extend compassion for only good behavior? He has a triumphant story, largely due to his own perseverance and skills, that has recently spiralled into disturbing, weird behavior. I believe this is the time when compassion is needed. But I am sure he appreciates your compassion after he caught two TD passes.
on March 5,2014 | 03:45PM
Grimbold wrote:
Compassion yes, but also punishment for bad behavior.
on March 5,2014 | 07:08PM
kimchee wrote:
I don't think anybody is excusing his personal choice of drug use. But whether the drugs caused his erratic behavior or it's really mental illness - dude has problems and it's not a bad thing to give him a little compassion. Or at the very least people should avoid lame comments like first two jokers.
on March 5,2014 | 10:37PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Try compassion for a fellow human being!
on March 5,2014 | 04:45PM
loio wrote:
GO BOWS! We always attract the top flight scholar athletes. Colt, Raph Cherry and Davone should be eligible for the UH Hall of Honor!
on March 5,2014 | 07:54AM
false wrote:
Or added to the Hall of Shame
on March 5,2014 | 10:23AM
droid wrote:
Way to jump to conclusions to support yours! Show some intellect by demonstrating a basic understanding of mental illness and how it can affect even an NFL receiver with a heart of gold. Shame on YOU!
on March 5,2014 | 11:59AM
pat1942 wrote:
In the two times I met Davone, he was humble and inspirational to my kids. I hope that he gets help he needs and turns his life around. I know he’s done it once when he came to Hawaii. I hope he can do it again.
on March 5,2014 | 07:57AM
uhsportsfan wrote:
Very sad ending for a once-talented athlete. I hope he can get past his troubles and turn his life around.
on March 5,2014 | 08:06AM
gobows wrote:
UH got enough for a Wall of Dis-Honor now.
on March 5,2014 | 08:06AM
dlum003 wrote:
squandered career, and for what?
on March 5,2014 | 08:10AM
CartwrightPark wrote:
Braddah is clearly not well. I hope he gets the help he needs. Everyone knows that the reputation of Davone Bess has always been of humility. Hes well known as a nice guy. Da lack of empathy on this comment board sucks.
on March 5,2014 | 08:34AM
badcard36 wrote:
Well said. Way to kick a guy when he's down.
on March 5,2014 | 08:43AM
lwandcah wrote:
It's easy to do as we sit in our ivory towers, forgetting about all the things we screwed up and the people we have hurt.
on March 5,2014 | 10:43AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Amen, it's shameful the number of posters here disguised as human beings.
on March 5,2014 | 12:31PM
LKK56 wrote:
CartwrightPark - you are correct. I have seen Bess in public, not looking outstanding - just ordinary. He is probably going through a trying time. It's hard living in a world with the attitude of some of the people that post in this column.
on March 5,2014 | 03:45PM
twitter6 wrote:
Very talented. Hopefully he will re-group and focus. NFL athletes have a very short window of opportunity
on March 5,2014 | 10:06AM
bigislandkurt wrote:
DB....albeit young, black and paid.....suffers from psychological problems. One can take all the cheap shots they want in claiming that it's the weed that's the problem. Instead of destroying this brother further, maybe mo betta we hope that this guy can get the help he needs. Mental illness does not discriminate on the basis of money. Or weed.
on March 5,2014 | 10:06AM
false wrote:
Hope its not to late for him to clean up his act and seek some kind of help one way or another. This ride may be over. What a pity when so many athletes would want the chance he had.
on March 5,2014 | 10:22AM
Knowlege wrote:
When I went to UH i used to see him around, he was always happy and outgoing. From what I heard, he also never dropped any catches during practice and was extremely talented. He is a good football player but it sounds like he needs some mental and or behavioral health treatment. Like previous people already commented, mental/behavioral health problems can affect anybody. I hope that he can overcome these struggles and he gets strong support from his family and friends. Maybe if he gets proper treatment he can get back into the NFL again soon, I would like to see more of him, he is fun to watch.
on March 5,2014 | 10:43AM
808ikea wrote:
This is not the Devone Bess that played at the UH. While at the UH he was humble and the hardest working football player. And the talent to boot. There is an obvious mental issue that he is suffering from. I pray that he gets the proper treatment.
on March 5,2014 | 12:02PM
kahuku01 wrote:
808ikea: Gets the proper treatment for what? We all know what has been his downfall during the last couple of years. Naturally, while at UH, he was humble and the hardest working football player because he didn't have the money until after playing professional football. The millions he's made in professional football has turned his life around by being able to purchase whatever he wanted and drove him to where he is today. It's sad to see these athletes coming from nothing to having the ability to be drafted into professional sports and ruin their lives because of not being able to handle and control what they have achieved. It's become overwhelming for them to handle all that money, and all that money, comes uncontrollable habits, which leads back to square one...nothing.
on March 5,2014 | 04:31PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I wish they would use another photo of him. He doesn't deserve to be ridiculed any more. Obviously he has mental health and substance abuse issues. Lets hope he gets thru this.
on March 5,2014 | 12:54PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Totally agree with you, just confirms SA has no class whatsoever. If anyone follows UH football, you know his story and how he turned things around (for a while) and probably was the best "hand's" receiver in UH history. Not only that, while at UH, he worked his butt off to be a better player and left lasting good memories for us fans.
on March 5,2014 | 09:18PM
Eleo wrote:
Best wishes to Devon in his recovery. In proverbs it states, every day the natural man is subject to failure. The key here is not to stay down when you fall, but instead people must find the resilience to pick themselves up and move on when the opportunity presents itself. The anti-social behavior, illustrated by the media, appears to be very similar, if not the same, to illicit SPICE use. Not to sound like i'm trying to give Devon an alibi for his disruptive behavior, but Illicit SPICE use will cause a normal person to rage while under the influence. This type of behavior will cause a person to temporarily, if not permanent, lose their mental capacity to make good judgement. For instance, in '12 Miami Police officers shot a guy who was eating the face of another person later found to be under the influence of SPICE. To Devon and Family, God Speed in your recovery. WARRIOR NATION
on March 5,2014 | 02:06PM
50skane wrote:
What drugs will do to a young man. So gifted and had a bright future, hopefully he can get his head out of a_ _ and get into rehab before he goes completely down the drain.
on March 5,2014 | 02:17PM
steveoctober wrote:
You haven't seen the last of him -- future head coach for UH.
on March 5,2014 | 02:17PM
oxtail01 wrote:
You are a F.....g M....n, in a lot ways worse than Bess will ever be.
on March 5,2014 | 09:13PM
st1d wrote:
it is difficult to battle psychological demons when you are well known and achieved success. bess knew he suffered internally and started a foundation to help others, especially the youth, who shared his challenges.

that he failed so publicly to maintain his balance, says more of his psychological challenges than it does of his character.

that some would take this opportunity to belittle and attack a person because of his psychological problems says more of the belittler and attacker than it does of bess.

fight the good fight, devon, get your balance back.

on March 5,2014 | 02:40PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well i hope he catches on with another team.
on March 5,2014 | 04:08PM
Anonymous wrote:
Some possibilities: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks. DaVonne u da Bess, do not let this temporary setback stop your NFL career. You were the best, even better than Jason Rivers, who I think has not had an NFL career. I mention New England first, because you could be another Wes Welker for Tom Brady. Your issues are off the field not on it. Could be that you dropped some passes, however that could have been from your off field issues. Man, When Captain Colt threw to you guys during the 2007 12-0 season, you guys were great, nationally ranked in the top 20, I think even getting to number 12, to be able to take on Georgia in The Sugar Bowl. You guys probably lost there, because of the bright lights. If we played Georgia at Aloha Stadium, you guys would have a fighting chance. Let's Go Bess !! Let's Go Bess !! Let's Go Bess !!
on March 5,2014 | 04:14PM
honokai wrote:
Bdpapa's post is spot on. We have already seen that photo enough, Let's get back to the positive and support this Warrior. He gave everything for our team and our state. We need to have his back.
on March 5,2014 | 05:27PM
XlllX wrote:
cocaine is a helluva drug
on March 5,2014 | 10:15PM
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