His first season with the Cleveland Browns ended before it began.
His second season was a lost, as he rehabilitated the injury to his knee and fought off a staph infection.
Bentley, whom the Browns signed as a free agent in 2006, has missed the past two seasons following a torn patellar tendon in his knee and a subsequent staph infection that required additional surgery.
This wasn’t the homecoming he had planned.
Bentley, who played at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School and Ohio State, decided not to re-sign with the Saints for a chance to come home and play for the Browns. He signed a six-year, $36 million deal in March 2006 that included $12.5 million in guaranteed money.
The Cleveland Browns’ center LeCharles Bentley is expected to make his long-awaited comeback to the team during June’s mandatory veteran minicamp, coach Romeo Crennel said last Wednesday.
“He’s got one or two things that he’s got to work through to come and pass our physical,” Crennel said. “So he’s not here right now and might not be here until the minicamp.”
If he’s healthy, it is unknown where Bentley would fit on Cleveland’s offensive line, which was one of the best in the NFL last season. Hank Fraley has played the center position well for the Browns, but Bentley could be used to provide depth at center or guard.
If Bentley does return this season, it would surely add more depth to an already formidable offense line. We can only hope and pray that this homegrown product can make it back to field this season. The doctors and his body will be the determining factor as to whether or not this happens.