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Bernie Kosar says Browns fired him; bet on team reportedly to blame

Dec 22, 2019; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar signs an autograph before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Bernie Kosar said the Cleveland Browns told him Sunday morning they have cut ties with their former quarterback, who has worked on the team’s radio shows and as an ambassador.

“I was informed by the Browns that my services are no longer desired or needed,” Kosar tweeted. “I will not be doing todays radio program. I am shocked & disappointed Brown & Orange is my life”


Cleveland.com, citing a league source, said Kosar's termination was a result of a $19,000 bet he placed on the Browns to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's season finale. Kosar, 59, discussed on the Bernie Kosar Show placing the first bet with Tipico sportsbook, and the company issued a news release hailing the wager and its exclusive partnership with Cleveland-based sports and entertainment network BIGPLAY.

Sports betting in Ohio became legal on Jan. 1, and Kosar made the bet just after midnight.

NFL personnel and players are banned from betting on football. Cleveland.com said that rule extended to Kosar in his role with the Browns.

The Browns selected Kosar, from nearby Boardman, Ohio, with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1985 NFL Supplemental Draft. He spent eight-plus seasons with the Browns, amassing a 53-51-1 record as a starter.

He had two chances to lead the Browns to a Super Bowl. In consecutive AFC Championship games in 1987 and 1988 against the Denver Broncos, Cleveland was thwarted by game-changing events that simply became known as "The Drive" and "The Fumble."

Kosar did win a Super Bowl as a backup with the Dallas Cowboys and ended his career with the Miami Dolphins, where he played his college football with the Miami Hurricanes.

In 128 career games (108 starts), Kosar threw for 23,301 yards with 124 touchdowns and 87 interceptions.

–Field Level Media