Strong made a series of Twitter posts about how playing in the NFL made him "more depressed than actually living my dream." He explained that his efforts to remain on the field for practices throughout camp led his knee, which required surgery after suffering a torn ACL in 2017, to swell up every day:
"And not once did I complain nor sit out after their docs knew how bad my knee swelled up day after day. Not one time did anybody offer a rest day or anything but I'm tough right? Lol, so f--k it.
"We get to Week 3 of preseason and I can barely walk... I'm in treatment everyday so don't say I am not... I'm trying to do all the right things. I played bad against [Tampa Bay]. I was dead...body, legs, etc. One of the worse things I put on tape I can attest to...but the Browns knew why I looked and felt the way I felt after making play after play in camp for 30 straight padded practices."
Strong, who's a free agent, has struggled to make a consistent impact at the NFL level since the Houston Texans selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.
The Arizona State product caught three touchdowns in 10 appearances as a rookie. His 2016 season was limited to eight games before he suffered an ankle injury, however, and he started 2017 with a one-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse.
He was released by the Texans after being reinstated and subsequently claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He suffered the torn ACL in his first game with the Jags.
Strong missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from the knee injury before signing with the Browns in February. He recorded seven catches for 52 yards and a touchdown during the preseason, but he didn't make Cleveland's final 53-man roster.
"When you hit rock bottom, those thoughts always come," he told reporters in August about being unsure whether he'd get another NFL contract. "It's just about not really so much listening to yourself, but talking to yourself and putting the work in to hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Strong concluded his Twitter messages Tuesday by saying he was "never truly happy in the NFL" and being away from the league since his Browns release has allowed him to realize that.