Davone Bess saw his five-year run with the Miami Dolphins come to an end when he was traded to the Cleveland Browns during April's draft. According to the wide receiver, there's more to the story than meets the eye.
Bess told The Miami Herald this week that his relationship with the Dolphins soured toward the end of last season because he couldn't get on the field. After playing in 77 consecutive games since 2008, Bess missed the Dolphins' final three contests last season because of what he called a fractured vertebrae in his lower back.
"Everybody's injury is different," Bess said Wednesday. "I couldn't go, and I didn't. That's the way it unfolded."
Bess said he holds no grudges against the Dolphins, but he told the newspaper the injury ultimately led to his exit from the team. Sources familiar with the situation denied that, telling The Herald that the trade hinged primarily on finances.
Bess passed Cleveland's physical and has exhibited no reported signs of back pain this summer with the Browns. He was sidelined last month with a bout of knee tendinitis, but he fully practiced Wednesday and figures heavily into the passing game alongside Greg Little and Josh Gordon.
If Bess is raw over his departure from the Dolphins, he'll find no better chance for payback than Sunday, when Cleveland hosts Miami in the season opener.