wants to Start
released recovering offensive center LeCharles Bentley this week upon the
request of the ex-Buckeye who wants a starting position on a NFL roster instead
of competing for a spot. Bentley has been battling a knee injury for two years
including a staff infection and was just declared fit to play.
By Steve Patterson
Bentley grew up in the Northeastern part of Ohio and joining the Browns in 2006 as a
free agent was a dream come true. Being an alumnus of St.
School in the Cleveland
area, the two time Pro Bowler felt great about coming back home to play for a
childhood favorite. But on the first play of training camp, Bentley injured his
patellar tendon leading to a two year recovery that lasted until just before
his release from the Browns.
The Staff Infection
all accounts worked hard during the two years that he spent on the bench in Cleveland. He almost lost
his leg due to a staff infection that he contracted during his stay at the Cleveland
Clinic for the knee operation. But the injection led to a longer than expected
recovery period that wasn’t complete until two weeks ago when he passed a
physical with the team.
The Money and Release
in the meantime, while Bentley recovered, have built a pretty decent offensive
line through free agency. The feeling among many close to the program is that
the team felt Bentley wasn’t any better than the starters and possibly the
backups that the team now has in camp. Bentley had originally signed a 6 year
$36 million contract and would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end
of 2008. But the Browns didn’t want to wait another year and Bentley didn’t
want to compete for a starting position.
We wish the
best of luck to Bentley as he awaits a new contract in a new town. And best of
luck as he attempts to return to a level of play in a sport that he has not
played in two seasons.