A photography surge on social media could leave receiver Davone Bess facing discipline from the Browns, and perhaps the NFL.
Bess has posted dozens of pictures on Twitter and Instagram in the last couple of weeks, with many referencing the Rastafarian culture. He appeared to cross a line Thursday morning with a picture on his Twitter account.
A picture posted at 7:20 a.m. from Plantation, Fla., showed what looks like a cigar on a table near a tiny bag of what appears to be marijuana. Some of the same green-brown substance is loose on the table.
The bag sits on a cell phone with a “Jah” screensaver. Jah means God in Rastafarian culture. The caption read: “We da real dons!”
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) January 16, 2014
A Browns spokesman said the team is looking further into the situation and will deal with the matter internally. An NFL spokesman said the league had no comment.
The picture was deleted from Twitter later in the morning.
This wasn’t the first time Bess was linked with a possibly incriminating picture.
On Dec. 20, a photo was posted on his Instagram account that showed him lighting a type of cigarette on a porch with a Rasta flag draped around his shoulders and a poster of reggae legend Bob Marley nearby. The post came on a Friday afternoon when Bess was absent from practice for personal reasons.
Bess, 28, was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list the next day, and a league source said he was dealing with family issues. He missed the final two games.
His first season in Cleveland was a bust even before that.
A possession receiver playing primarily out of the slot, Bess led the league with 14 drops through 14 games. He was particularly bad in a 23-17 loss to the Chiefs in October, dropping three passes, including one on fourth down on Cleveland’s final drive, and fumbling a fourth-quarter punt.
Bess finished with 42 catches for 362 yards, an 8.6 average, and two touchdowns. He was held under 30 yards for his last 11 games.
The catches, yards and average were career lows. He had 61 catches for 778 yards and a touchdown in 13 games for the Dolphins in 2012.
The Browns traded fourth- and fifth-round picks to Miami in exchange for Bess and fourth- and seventh-round picks during the draft in April. Cleveland then signed Bess to a four-year, $14.2 million contract through 2016 that includes $5.75 million guaranteed.
Bess’ salary for 2014 is $3.067 million.