Browns want to void guarantees from contract of Davone Bess

Matt Sullivan

The Browns want to void Davone Bess' guaranteed base salary for 2014. The last few months have been troubling for the wide receiver, who went on the Browns' non-football injury list in December.

The Cleveland Browns have plans to void the guarantees out of Davone Bess' contract for 2014, according to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk. Bess landed on the non-football injury list in December to deal with a "serious personal issue." He has since ran into off-field trouble, and if he can't play in 2014 as a result, the Browns may try to recoup some of the money owed to Bess.

For Bess, guaranteed base salary constitutes his entire 2014 paycheck with the Browns. The three-year extension he signed in 2013 did not include a signing bonus. The full value of the deal is $8.8 million. He is set to make $3.067 million in the upcoming season.

Bess joined the Browns during the 2013 offseason in a trade from the Miami Dolphins. Whether the Browns can void the guarantees will depend on an interpretation of his current contract, which is set to expire in 2017. NFL labor laws stipulate that players and teams negotiate the circumstances under which guarantees be voided.

Bess was arrested in January for assaulting a police officer at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The police report of the incident described Bess as under the influence of an unknown narcotic. The night prior to the incident, Bess drew the attention of the NFL after tweeting a picture of marijuana, tequila and 5-Hour Energy on his coffee table.

The Browns have not indicated that they plan to release Bess. He may still be able to earn back his salary if he can return to the team and contribute. He will also be able to challenge the Browns if they do opt to void his salary.

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