It is hard to believe, but it appears that no less than seven teams are interested in the services of former Saints and Browns OL LeCharles Bentley, who asked for and got his release from the Browns two weeks ago. Bentley feels that he is healthy and can be a starter on a team this season, but it’s going to up to the team that he eventually signs with to figure that out.
Adam Schefter of NFL Network put out a list of the seven teams, breaking down as follows:
Buffalo – The Bills O-line was better in 07 than 06, but could use some help. They need to make sure to get Jason Peters signed, and they have Melvin Folwer as their center, a good, but not great player.
Cincinnati – They need some help up front, and if Bentley is going to line up at center, it’s a position they can use, with right now Eric Ghiaciuc listed as the starting snapper. Staying in the North means he can stick it to the Browns as well.
Miami – Bentley can teach some traits to #1 pick Jake Long, and probably take some playing time away from center Samson Satele. The line needs some experience, and Bentley can add that.
Oakland – The silver and black were 6th in the league in rushing last year, and while they could use some depth, I can’t see him wrestling away a starting job on this already pretty good line.
Pittsburgh – The issues on the O-line were well documented for the Steelers in 2007, and now that Alan Faneca is gone, it’s still a problem spot. They will have 2-3 new starters on the line this year, and while they already brought in a center in Justin Hartwig, Bentley might be an interesting fit here.
St. Louis – This is the top spot in my opinion for Bentley to land. The Rams lost out on Barry Sims this week to the Niners, and have been looking hard at the O-line market since they were so banged up there last year. Mark Setterstrom will be the center in 08, and he can be displaced if Bentley signs.
San Francisco – This may have been a more pressing need before they got Sims this week, but the Niners want to upgrade the O-line still, and would love to add someone like Bentley that can teach youngsters like Chilo Rachal and last years #1 Joe Staley.
Seattle – Walter Jones is coming off another shoulder surgery, and the middle three spots are trouble issues, which is why Bentley is getting consideration here. Center Chris Spencer has offseason thumb surgery, making a run at Bentley even more of a possibility.