LeCharles Bentley: Who's to Blame?

Andrew GoebelContributor IJune 12, 2008

One day after what was seemingly pure elation for the Cleveland Browns and LeCharles Bentley, the former All-Pro offensive lineman asked for and was granted his release by the Browns.

The Cleveland St. Ignatius and Ohio State graduate, who made $16 million without participating in a single play in the orange helmet, did not go into much detail about what prompted the force of his release. 

"There was just too much water under the bridge for me to put it all aside and forget about it," he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer."So much has gone on that the fans don't even know about, and I just felt it was best for us to go in different directions."

“It’s evident they've made commitments to other players, and LeCharles is not ready to be an insurance policy at this point," Bentley's agent, Jonathan Feinsod, said.

Does Bentley and his agent really think the Browns, who had an offensive line that allowed the least sacks in the NFL in 2007, would just hand him a starting job after missing two years and making it through zero full-squad practices?

Bentley, who could have made $4 million after hitting incentives this year, said he was leaving to do what was best for him and that it was a business decision.

What team in the NFL is going to pay him more than $4 million?

Besides, if he is in NFL game-shape, and is stronger than he was when he signed with the Browns, how could the Browns keep the All-Pro off the field?

When is the last time an NFL offensive line has gone through an entire season with no injuries?

There seems to be bad blood stemming from his lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation from staff infection. 

Some have said he was insulted, because he felt team personnel didn’t visit him enough.

The Browns felt a slap in the face when Bentley chose to rehab outside of Cleveland, unlike Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow, who had rehabbed major injuries at the Browns' facility and under the care of team doctors. 

When Bentley signed with the Browns over two years ago, there was much excitement— a local kid was coming home to play for his beloved Cleveland Browns.

It turned out that he is like every other "home-grown" Cleveland sports star that either grew up there and made their first marks.

You can add Bentley to the list of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Carlos Boozer, and within six months, C.C. Sabathia, who all left to do what is best for them— to chase the all mighty dollar!