Browns CEO Joe Banner is declining to say whether the team knew the extent of Davone Bess’s off-field problems before trading for him last year.
A report that the Dolphins knew Bess had been involuntarily sent to a mental health facility and didn’t tell the Browns has raised eyebrows in Cleveland, but when Banner was asked about that report he declined to answer.
“We’ve been in contact and are trying to do everything we can to support and help Davone through the entire process,” Banner said, via Cleveland.com. “I don’t want to answer anything beyond what I just said.”
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam admitted that he did not know about Bess’s off-field issues.
“I personally did not [know] so I can’t answer that,” Haslam said.
The Browns cut Bess’s 2013 season short by placing him on the non-football illness list, but neither Bess nor the team has ever explained what illness he suffers from. Bess was arrested last week and accused of assaulting an officer, and doubts have been raised about whether he’ll ever play for the Browns again.