The trade is contingent upon Bess passing his physical with the Browns.
“Davone is a proven receiver who has been extremely productive throughout his career,” said Browns 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.”
“The opportunity to acquire an established veteran such as Davone was one we felt we could not pass up,” said Browns chief executive officer 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 5-foot-10, 193-pound Bess brings to Cleveland five years of experience and is coming off of a solid 2012 season in which he caught 61 passes for 778 yards, for a career-best average of 12.8 yards per reception, one touchdown and 38 first downs.
The Oakland, Calif., native whom the Dolphins signed as a rookie free agent after the 2008 NFL Draft, has been on the receiving end of 321 of the 500 passes thrown his way, and has turned those receptions into 3,447 yards, 12 touchdowns and 183 first downs. The sure-handed Bess has lost just three fumbles in his previous five NFL seasons combined.
Bess’ most productive season came in 2010, when he caught 79 passes for 820 yards and five touchdowns.
“Bess is a really talented, productive receiver,” said Browns general manager Michael Lombardi. “I think he’s the 14th most productive receiver in the NFL over the last four years. He’s caught a lot of passes, converted a lot of third downs for the Dolphins. They signed a couple receivers this year, so it was a good opportunity for us to bring him in here and see what he could do inside the slot. He’s been very productive since he’s been a free agent out of Hawaii.
“Because he’s produced in the league, it’s certainly attractive. I think he’s got the ability. He’s proven it on tape against really good competition. It wasn’t a question of looking at it any deeper than he could make plays against people we have to play against and he’s been very productive.”
In addition to his offensive abilities, Bess has shown a penchant for helping out on special teams. He has returned 115 punts for 1,196 yards, and 15 kickoffs for 311 yards.
Bess is the second veteran wide receiver the Browns have added this offseason. Earlier this month, they signed free-agent wide receiver
“We’re always looking to try and add good players,” Lombardi said. “David Nelson is an older player who caught 71 passes two years ago before he got hurt. You always try to add players to your team that you think can help. On the most critical down, (Bess is) been able to convert.”