NFL News: Browns might look to void Davone Bess’ 2014 salary

Bess Mugshot
Bess in happier times for the Browns...

Bess in happier times for the Browns…

The Cleveland Browns have been saying compassionate things about Davone Bess, but it appears that business practicality might be entering the equation as well. Pro Football Talk reports that the Browns are looking to void the second guaranteed year of salary owed Davone Bess via his recently-signed contract extension. If the Browns are successful in doing so, it will save the team just over $3 million of Jimmy Haslam’s money.

The Cleveland Browns are still nursing the black eyes they received over the whole Davone Bess trade situation. Even if the Dolphins were underhanded for their own part in the deal, the Browns looked negligent in their due diligence after revelations that Bess had been involuntarily committed in Florida shortly before the Dolphins sent him to Cleveland in a draft-day deal. While not considered the reason that Jimmy Haslam ousted Michael Lombardi, we’d heard rumblings that Haslam was far less than enthused with his personnel team as the Bess breakdown in Florida came to light.

For their part, the Browns have been pretty compassionate (if a bit quiet) with regard to Davone Bess and his apparent instability as he posted pictures that appeared to indicate he could be using marijuana and then his airport arrest.

The questions abound. Can the Browns be compassionate while also looking to void Bess’ salary for 2014? Can they void “guaranteed” money if a player’s own intentional actions leave him unable to perform his duties as an NFL player? Is there anything forthcoming from the NFL with regard to disciplinary action over either Bess’ arrest or his apparent use of banned substances?

One thing’s for sure. The strange tale of Davone Bess isn’t over just yet.

[Related: The Decomposition of Davone Bess]

  • CB Everett

    Saying the Browns were negligent in the due diligence is unfair.

    How could a team be expected to know if a prospective player had psychological treatment? I mean that seriously,as practically 1. there are several issues of privacy involved (including HIPAA). Are we even entitled to know that/they have an obligation to tell us? and

    2. How would you even know to investigate down that road? You could ask the player, the old team, interview some folks around him–but if no one volunteers any red flags–how could they have possibly known he was suddenly unstable? Dude was consistent and solid as a player (not great but steady) for several years; he was a humanitarian; considered a good teammate; and didn’t have any public blemishes in the NFL.

    I guess if he or the Dolphins had an obligation to disclose per the contract & trade agreement, and yet concealed, maybe we would have grounds to void. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • BenRM

    Except for the fact that a call to Miami PD or a google search probably would have revealed the prior incident, in particular, when prompted by the Dolphins to “do your research.”

  • BenRM

    Except for the fact that a call to Miami PD or a google search probably would have revealed the prior incident, in particular, when prompted by the Dolphins to “do your research.”

  • RGB

    C’mon, how much difference is this guy really going to make?
    He’s not worth the effort that Gordon was.
    Cut him loose.

    And draft Sammy Watkins. 😀

  • CB Everett

    No, the incident was not made public until a month or two ago when it all came out. Again, how would you know to check with the Miami PD if all you’re going on is the Dolphins blanketed saying, “Do your research”? We’ve got the beautiful benefit of hindsight.

  • Natedawg86

    I think the important thing to note was that he was a draft day trade. During the heat of the moment, you don’t really have a lot of time to figure that kind of stuff out. I don’t know if it was a pre-meditated move or not, but when the trade happened, i was pumped. Boy was I wrong.

  • Garry_Owen

    In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last few months, as Browns fans we expect the Browns (and the NFL) to:
    1) Have powers of foresight and investigation exceeding those of the FBI; and,
    2) Be immune to HIPAA and other important laws.
    How else can we advance the “Stooges” narrative?
    Get with the game, CB, or get out. Sheesh.

  • Garry_Owen

    Pretty sure the Browns can be compassionate without paying the guy $3 million. “Guaranteed” only means “under the contract.” Every contract has provisions regarding breach. Though I haven’t read the document, I would imagine that Bess has probably breached the contract in one or multiple ways.

  • mgbode

    I think it was Rick who coined the phrase:

    why is it that all the 1-skill guys suddenly lose that skill once Cleveland teams acquire them?

  • Toddyus

    The business side of this trade was much more about the Dolphins being shady than the Browns being lazy. The sad part, however, is Bess. Something tells me that you take a talented, reliable wide receiver and send him over the middle repeatedly where he is going to be blind-sided repeatedly, something has to change in his brain and not for the better.