This morning on Sportscenter, ESPN's John Clayton reported that former Saint offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley would be signing today, and recieving roughly six million dollars per year, in addition to a giant signing bonus. He mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles and the Browns as the remaining contenders for the 25 year old Pro Bowlers services.
Shortly after came reports from Sirius Sattelite radio than Bentley had rebuffed Philly's last offer, breaking a verbal agreement with them, and was coming to Cleveland. At 12:14, kffl.com reported the following:
Browns | Bentley on way to ClevelandSat, 11 Mar 2006 09:14:55 -0800610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia reports free agent C LeCharles Bentley (Saints) is on his way to Cleveland to visit the Cleveland Browns. It was earlier reported that Bentley had already agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and there was a rumor that he was going to visit the Eagles on Saturday, March 11. At 12:30 PM, Sirius Sattelite Radio reported confirming the deal with the Browns with his agent.
And at 1:00, ESPN confirmed the signing on their website.
With money to spend and holes to fill, the Cleveland Browns struck quickly in free agency Saturday, reaching agreements with a pair of high-profile unrestricted free agents who will dramatically alter the landscape of the team's offensive line unit.
The Browns have signed center LeCharles Bentley of New Orleans, the top-ranked player overall in ESPN.com's ratings of unrestricted free agents. The team also reached an agreement in principle with Atlanta Falcons left offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer, ESPN.com's 26th-rated free agent.Bentley was born and raised
here in Cleveland, and starred at St. Ignatius high school and then
went on to play for Ohio State, where he won the Rimington Award, given
to the nation's top center. He has since developed into one of the
NFL's premier interior linemen in New Orleans, and recently started for
the NFC at center in the Pro Bowl. This is huge upgrade to the
More info on Bentley and Shaffer to come. Discuss the Browns new additions here.