When the Cleveland Browns traded their fifth-round pick (that's what the net of the trade basically ended up being) to the Miami Dolphins for WR Davone Bess, it seemed like a "meh" but reasonable deal. They wanted a veteran receiver, something we lacked with younger players like WR Josh Gordon and WR Greg Little. Bess was regarded as having very good hands, and for being one of the best third-down receivers in the NFL. After one season of play with the Browns, though, it looks like they made a big mistake.
Earlier today, Bess was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list, meaning he'll miss the final two games of the season. Bess practiced in full this past Wednesday, but was out the next two days due to "personal issues," according to the team. Then, when the photo below surfaced on Bess' Instagram account the other day, it raised even more questions:
What's Browns WR Davone Bess lighting up? pic.twitter.com/La6qIC8j99— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) December 21, 2013
The photo, along with Bess' account, have since been deleted. On the field, except for one sensational game against the Ravens, Bess has been awful. According to Pro Football Focus, Bess has the worst drop rate in the NFL, dropping 14 out of 56 catchable passes (dropping a pass 25% of the time). That is the type of figure that should get a player cut. The Browns will probably keep him around, though, because the $3.067 million he makes against the cap in 2014 is fully guaranteed, and he's under contract through 2016.
With Bess out, WR Josh Cooper is expected to see a good amount of action in his place, which will be a welcome sign to fans. At this point, it's unclear who will take Bess' roster spot.