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Report: Dolphins knew Bess had incident before trading him

Bess Getty Images

It’s unknown — and arguably irrelevant — whether the Browns knew about the troubling offseason incident involving former Dolphins receiver Davone Bess before trading for him.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins knew.  And they didn’t disclose anything about Bess while trying to trade him.

From a short-term strategic perspective, the decision to remain silent made sense.  Buy low, sell high, buyer beware.  But as Salguero points out, fleecing another team via trade makes it harder to do business in the future, since other teams will find it harder to trust the Dolphins.

Ideally, the Browns would have known about Bess.  Even more ideally, the Dolphins would have acknowledged that Bess had an off-field issue that needed to be fully investigated before flipping fourth-round picks with Miami, sending a fifth-round and seventh-round pick to the Dolphins, and committing to paying Bess a fully-guaranteed base salary of $2.683 million in 2013 and $3.067 million in 2014 as part of a three-year extension done after the trade.  (There’s a de-escalator for 2014, but it’s unclear what causes the salary to drop, and by how much.)

So while the Browns may merit some blame for not knowing about Bess, the Dolphins deserve criticism, too, for not being honest about the situation.  Even though G.M. Jeff Ireland is now gone (and the Bess mess could make it harder for him to get a new job), others in the front office who knew or should have known about Bess surely remain, which will make other teams leery about working out trades with the Dolphins even after a new G.M. is hired.

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28 Responses to “Report: Dolphins knew Bess had incident before trading him”
  1. canetic says: Jan 19, 2014 11:46 AM

    If a team — out of the blue on draft day — decides to trade their leading receiver for essentially nothing, and you don’t investigate his background, you can’t call foul later.

  2. ziggystheansah says: Jan 19, 2014 12:05 PM

    How are the dolphins at fault? It’s not their fault the Browns didn’t do their research.

  3. 69finfan says: Jan 19, 2014 12:12 PM

    The Dolphin’s are not at fault and did nothing wrong. It is simply a particular somebody taking his normal pot shots at the Fins.

  4. kwjsb says: Jan 19, 2014 12:36 PM

    The difference between shrewd and incompetent.

  5. 4evrnyt says: Jan 19, 2014 12:45 PM

    Haslam continues to get things right.

  6. clownsfan says: Jan 19, 2014 12:49 PM

    Just another example illustrating that Mike Lombardi has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.

  7. edavidberg says: Jan 19, 2014 12:52 PM

    This is 100% on the Browns. It would be different if the Dolphins lied about something but there is no indication they did.

  8. shaggytoodle says: Jan 19, 2014 12:53 PM

    They also knew about Marshall before trading him to the Bears… maybe teams should only ask for picks when dealing with the Phins.

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 19, 2014 1:09 PM

    So the new GM can say hey look I’m new here, so I know nothing about these guys and you are a fool if you don’t try to figure out how to take advantage of the new guy that doesn’t know what is going on or what anything is worth yet. Maybe another team in your division will be the ones to fleece us after targeting us as a naive trade partner during this special introductory time. If I was the GM of another team then I want to take advantage of the new Miami person before anybody else does. Opportunity doesn’t come knocking on your door too often, and this new Miami GM looks like dead meat to me, whoever it is.

  10. wishingtonredslur says: Jan 19, 2014 1:12 PM

    This guy and the broken dude from Green Bay as well. Somebody in Cleveland is not doing due diligence.

  11. edawg7l says: Jan 19, 2014 1:18 PM

    To the smart people on here who want to blame the Browns – legal disclosure of a matter is not necessarily made until the defendant gets his / her day in court. Why do you think Winslow’s situation didn’t come out until recently. This happened in the fall and just came out 2 days ago. Cleveland may be a mess, but the Dolphins MUST disclose the matter when trading a player with a legal issue.

  12. janessa31888 says: Jan 19, 2014 1:30 PM

    We Browns fans strongly dislike Mike Lombardi . And Jimmy is no better at hiring people than Randy Lerner was, maybe worse. I hope they are embarrassed over this.

  13. silverhornet says: Jan 19, 2014 1:30 PM

    It’s okay Cleveland, we’ll take back Bess, give you back your draft picks and also take on his contract for you….

    NOT.

  14. borisbulldog says: Jan 19, 2014 1:44 PM

    Bess hitting a cop is a felony which voids his final 2 years due to a “conduct detrimental” clause in his contract.

  15. tigerlilac says: Jan 19, 2014 1:44 PM

    In most commodity transactions, the sales contract has representations and warranties from the seller to the buyer that no undisclosed adverse conditions are known. Mike, being a lawyer you must know if most NFL trades have such a clause and if not why not. Please advise.

  16. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 19, 2014 2:07 PM

    The Browns excel at failure.

  17. timpiker says: Jan 19, 2014 2:10 PM

    If the Browns can prove the Dolphins deceived them the Browns do have legal recourse. Don’t believe that? Then see how far u get away when you put sawdust in a transmission.

  18. thelastpieceofcheese says: Jan 19, 2014 2:11 PM

    Dolphins are not required to disclose anything.

    This is a trade among consenting parties not a criminal trial.

    Browns should have exercised due diligence. Dolphins will not do their work.

    The thought nobody will ever trade with the Dolphins is ridiculous. As long as somebody wants something for sale there will always be a trade.

  19. yojoemama says: Jan 19, 2014 2:23 PM

    Dolphins are slime. It’s the same thing as if you bought a stereo from someone on craigslist and the seller conveniently forgot to tell you that the stereo doesn’t work half the times. So even though it seemed to work when you tried it out before handing over the money, the seller sure well knows that it’s a matter of days before you figure out that it’s a lemon. Gee thanks for being honest!

  20. yojoemama says: Jan 19, 2014 2:24 PM

    Bad karma. No wonder Dolphins can’t get out of the cellar…

  21. annes22 says: Jan 19, 2014 2:33 PM

    The Browns suck anyway, but wouldn’t you investigate a players background etc before you trade for him. No wonder they are where they are today. When did Cleveland last do anything at all??

  22. reticarga says: Jan 19, 2014 2:34 PM

    It’s sad that they couldn’t stick by one of their own and help him when he needed it. Stay classy Miami.

  23. phinfan says: Jan 19, 2014 2:43 PM

    That could be the last we trade with the Browns.

  24. 69finfan says: Jan 19, 2014 3:30 PM

    If somebody has a car for sale and I am interested in it and externally it looks to be in great shape and it doesn’t have a lot of mileage and the asking price is $2,000.00 below BB is it not my responsibility to find out why it is being offered below the going price. In the Brown’s case maybe a simple question to the Fin’s like, hey Jeff, D. Bess is one of your best WR’s. Why are you looking to trade him? Is there something we should know about? Just a thought.

  25. Yip62 says: Jan 19, 2014 3:46 PM

    All the passes Bess dropped his last season in Miami wouldn’t clue u in to not trade for him? This is no different than not playing a player because he fumbles or can’t pass block, then trade him for a higher pick if everyone knew he fumbled or couldn’t pass block. Happens every day in the NFL. Wake up .

  26. kevindunn21 says: Jan 19, 2014 4:07 PM

    Wow, so Ireland turns out to be an even bigger weasel than first thought.

  27. oldcracker says: Jan 20, 2014 4:22 AM

    Everytime I see my pug (dog) with one of his Tootsie-roll sized turds in his mouth, grinning at me, I think of Joe Banner trolling Cleveland Browns Stadium.

  28. calmincali says: Jan 20, 2014 12:49 PM

    I like how this is being labeled a “fleecing”.

    We’re talking about swapping 4th’s (seven spots!) and a 5th. And the 7th rounder referenced actually went from Miami to Cleveland.

    That’s some real “fleecing” there.

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