|Agent says Browns release center LeCharles Bentley|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 11 June 2008 10:03|
Bentley practiced with the Browns on Tuesday for the first time in two years in his return from a major knee injury and a life-threatening infection.
Bentley's agent Jonathan Feinsod says his client wants to resume his career elsewhere. The Plain Dealer first reported Bentley's release on its Web site.
``At this point in LeCharles' career, he is not ready to be just an insurance policy,'' Feinsod said. ``To come back from what basically amounts to a near-death experience and now be healthy again is an inspiration to anybody. He's ready to continue his Pro Bowl and hopefully Hall of Fame career.''
The 28-year-old Bentley passed a physical and a running test Monday and was cleared to practice with the team during their three-day minicamp this week. It was his first practice since injuring his left knee at the start of training camp in 2006.
He said Tuesday that he would be starting in 2008 whether for the Browns or another NFL team.
``When he came to the Browns two years ago, their situation was entirely different and they didn't know if and when he was going to recover from this injury,'' Feinsod said. ``They had to do certain things to help their team, which they did.''
The Browns have improved their offensive line in Bentley's absence and that helped them transform an inept offense into one of the league's powerhouses.
A message for Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz was not immediately returned.
``At this point, it's very amicable,'' Feinsod said. ``This is no fault of the Cleveland Browns.''
Feinsod declined to comment on whether other teams were interested in Bentley.
Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl center with New Orleans, signed a six-year, $36 million free-agent contract in March 2006 with the Browns. The contract was later shortened to one year.
His dream of playing for his hometown team ended quickly when he tore his left patellar tendon on the first full-contact play of training camp that year.
Following surgery to repair the tendon, he developed a staph infection and needed three more operations.