Bernie Kosar says Browns cut ties with him; league source cites Kosar wager

Jan. 8—Bernie Kosar, arguably the most popular player to wear a Browns uniform in nearly 40 years, says the team has cut ties with him.

"Steelers GameDay yet once again I was informed by the Browns that my services are no longer desired or needed," Kosar tweeted on Jan. 8, about an hour before the Browns and Steelers met at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh in the final game of the regular season. "I will not be doing todays radio program. I am shocked & disappointed. Brown & Orange is my life."

Kosar and former Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon had an independent radio show that aired on the team's radio network.

The Browns had no comment about the decision to not allow "The Bernie Kosar Show with Hanfod Dixon" to air. But a league source said it was a reaction to Kosar announcing he placed a $19,000 bet on the Browns to beat the Steelers.

Another source familiar with the situation indicated Kosar might not be banished permanently and that the decision pertained only to Jan. 8 programing.

"First show in the new studio!," Kosar tweeted excitedly on Jan. 2, promoting the pre-recorded radio show that lasted nearly an hour. "Me and @HanfordDixon29 talk #Browns vs #Steelers and placing the 1st legal sports bet in Ohio with @tipico!"

Kosar wore "19" on his jersey when he played for the Browns from 1985-93. He led the team to the playoffs every year from 1985-89 and took the Browns to the AFC championship in the 1986, '87 and 1989 seasons.

Kosar announced on Twitter he would donate the $19,000 to charity if he won his bet.

Sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1. Sporting events airing on television and radio are inundated with commercials encouraging fans to bet. However, the Browns do not want to look like they are encouraging sports betting, the source said.

This isn't the first time the Browns have chastised Kosar. He was in the preseason television booth with Jim Donovan from 2006-2013, but was fired for brutal comments he made during a game with the Rams. Most notably, he ripped Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

"Bless me father for I have sinned," Kosar said on television. "I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."

Earlier in the broadcast he went after Rams receiver Nick Johnson after Johnson couldn't haul in a pass from Sam Bradford.

"This is actually not a bad throw," Kosar said. "These St. Louis receivers are horrible. That's a drop there."

Joe Banner was Browns president at the time.

"We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night," Banner said in a statement. "We've spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We've also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments."

Solomon Wilcots replaced Kosar as the preseason analyst in 2014.