Westbrook36 Posted March 12, 2006 Share Posted March 12, 2006 Wow, his agent said that Bentley only had one team on his mind. Eagles must be cheap. Bentley snubs EaglesThe rumors put him in Philadelphia. Instead, he went home to Ohio and signed with the Browns. By Bob Brookover Inquirer Staff Writer Yes, that was another painful interception the Eagles were forced to endure yesterday. This time, they watched helplessly as their primary free-agent target was picked off by the Cleveland Browns, a team that has had just one winning record in its seven seasons since returning to the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1999. It was no secret that the Eagles wanted to sign unrestricted free agent LeCharles Bentley, and they thought they had an outstanding opportunity to do so. But when free agency finally opened at 12:01 a.m. yesterday, the Browns used their hometown advantage to sign the Pro Bowl center to a six-year deal worth a reported $36 million, including a $12.5 million signing bonus. "He only had one team on his mind - the Cleveland Browns," said Jonathan Feinsod, one of the agents representing Bentley. "He's from Cleveland, he went to Ohio State, and that's where he wanted to play. I heard the rumors about the Eagles, but I don't know where they came from." The consolation prize for the Eagles may end up being a defensive lineman from the New Orleans Saints, the team that employed Bentley last season. Two league sources said that defensive end Darren Howard is scheduled to visit the Eagles today at the NovaCare Complex. Howard drew the Eagles' interest two years ago when he was a free agent, but the team signed Jevon Kearse instead. Howard, 29, averaged nearly 71/2 sacks in six seasons with the Saints, including 11 two years ago. He had a career-low 31/2 sacks last season and missed the final four games with a knee injury. The Eagles, according to multiple sources, also have struck a deal with tight end Matt Schobel, which they will announce either today or tomorrow. Schobel, who will serve as the backup to L.J. Smith, has agreed to a five-year deal worth $1.8 million. Schobel, a four-year veteran from TCU, has nine touchdowns among his 90 career catches with the Cincinnati Bengals. He had 18 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown last season and is considered an outstanding receiver. Through a team spokesman, the Eagles denied that they ever had a deal in place with Bentley, as was reported by the Trenton Times yesterday. Feinsod also said that wasn't the case. That spin is fine, but a close friend of Bentley's was telling people just before free agency originally was scheduled to open March 3 that the center was ready to sign a deal with the Eagles. There was also a strong feeling at One NovaCare Way that Bentley wanted to join the Eagles. Why the change? Most likely it was Bentley's ties to Cleveland. He was born and raised there, went to St. Ignatius High School, a football power in the city, and his family, including two children, remains there. The Eagles, according to a league source, feared that Bentley might be leaning toward signing with the Browns earlier in the week when word leaked that Cleveland was trying to trade center Jeff Faine, a three-year starter and former first-round draft pick who is just 24 years old. By sunrise, the Eagles knew Bentley was headed to Cleveland and they would have to look elsewhere to improve their offensive line. More in link http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/sports/14079604.htm Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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