Cleveland traded its fourth (No. 104) and fifth (No. 164) round draft picks while receiving Miami’s fourth (No. 111) and seventh (No. 217) round draft choices. The trade is contingent on Bess passing his physical.
“Davone is a proven receiver who has been extremely productive throughout his career,” said Browns’ head coach Rob Chudzinski. “He possesses outstanding hands and separation skills, while also showing the ability to pick up yards in key situations. Because of his talent and experience, we feel as though he can come in and help us right away.”
Converting third downs have been a challenge for the Browns for several years. Last season, alone, the Browns converted 67 out of 218 (30.7 percent). Bess will instantly help improve their efficiency on third down.
Since 2009, Bess has caught 267 passes, the 14th-highest total among all NFL wide receivers during this time. In his career (2008-12), he Bess registered 130 third-down receptions, second-most in the NFL over this five year span, trailing only Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (146).
Over the last four years (2009-12), 42 percent of Bess’ receptions have come on third down, which is the highest rate among all NFL players with 100 or more catches. His career reception total of 321 trails only Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (560) for the most in the league by any undrafted player since 2008.
“The opportunity to acquire an established veteran such as Davone was one we felt we could not pass up,” said Browns’ CEO Joe Banner. “We believe this is a move that will immediately upgrade our football team, and as we have throughout the offseason, we are committed to improving our club through all possible means.”
The Dolphins’ organization believes that the Browns are getting a solid professional in Bess.
“Davone was a consummate professional on the field and a model representative of the team off it through all of his charitable activities,” said Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland. “He joined the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent and worked hard to become one of the team’s most popular and respected players. We want to wish him the best of luck with the Browns.”
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