By Kyle T. Mosley | SI
Before the recent recognizable names of New Orleans Saints players at the center position like Max Unger, or Eric McCoy, De Le Puenta, or Jonathan Goodwin existed, there was LeCharles Bentley. Bentley held down the Saints offensive line for QB Aaron Brooks from 2002 to 2005. The 2020 second-round choice for the Saints, Bentley, was a fixture at center during the Haslett years. He left following the turbulent 2005 season after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. He was a solid performer for the team and a good teammate. In his video conference call with Saints media on Friday, July 10, 2020, he reminisced about his past teammates like RB Deuce McAllister, WR Joe Horn, and WB Jake Delhomme. Yes, Jake Delhomme. In the call, Bentley wondered if the Saints would have had a chance at a Super Bowl if Delhomme was quarterbacking the team.
After that season, New Orleans allowed Bentley to test the free-agency waters. ESPN rated Bentley as the highest-graded offensive lineman on the market in the 2006 NFL offseason. He signed with his hometown Cleveland Browns for a six-year, $36M deal with $12.5M in guarantees. The NFL future was bright for the former Ohio State Buckeye.
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