The Cleveland Browns are checking into a picture posted on Twitter by wide receiver Davone Bess, who missed the final two games of the season and was placed on the non-football/reserve list. The picture appears to show a possible banned substance.
We da real dons! pic.twitter.com/AdlYCuCsEK— Davone Bess (@davonebess) January 16, 2014
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the photo caught the attention of both the Browns and the NFL, as a substance that looks like marijuana is seen both in a bag and on the table. She also notes it's his second picture to attract attention this season:
The photo, posted on Bess' official twitter account, @davonebess, shows a small bag of a greenish-brown substance that looks like marijuana, and more of the substance spread on the table. The photo also contains what looks like a cigar, similar to the one in the photo posted by Bess in December on his since-closed Instagram account, a beverage of some kind and a 5-hour Energy drink.
The report states league spokesman Greg Aiello would not provide any details about how the NFL would treat the picture, which doesn't include Bess or any other individuals, just what's on the table.
Furthermore, the Browns are also reportedly looking into the picture. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal passed along comments from a team spokesman, who said the matter would be dealt with internally following review:
#Browns spokesman on Bess:"The team is aware of the photos and looking further into the situation and will deal with the matter internally."— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) January 16, 2014
Cleveland signed Bess to a three-year contract extension worth $11.5 million, including nearly $6 million guaranteed, after acquiring him from the Miami Dolphins last April. Cabot notes he's due to make slightly more than $3 million next season.
The wide receiver had a forgettable first season with the Browns. He had just 42 catches for 362 yards and two touchdowns, failing to handle the slot receiver role the team acquired him to fill. He also struggled with drops, as noted by Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beat Post:
It was a tough year for Davone Bess, who was 2nd in the NFL with 14 drops and had just 362 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) January 16, 2014
He didn't play in the Browns' last two games of the regular season. A reason for his absence from the team was not announced, but Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram cited a source who stated he was dealing with a family issue before eventually getting placed on the non-football/reserve list:
Receiver Davone Bess was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list Saturday for personal reasons and won’t play in the final two games.
Bess is dealing with family issues, according to a league source. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday and had been listed as questionable on the injury report.
It's unclear how the latest Twitter incident will impact his status with the Browns. More information should be available once the team completes its probe into the picture.