After passing his physical Tuesday, LeCharles Bentley had his agent request (and receive) his release because Bentley didn't want to be an "insurance policy". The Cleveland native suffered a torn patellar tendon, underwent four operations -- the final two were infections and a virus that had doctors thinking of amputating the leg -- missing all of 2006 and eventually all of 2007.
Bentley played with the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the 2001 Rimington Trophy (college's best center). He was drafted by the Saints (2nd round, 44th pick), moved to guard winning Sports Illustrated's Offensive Rookie of the Year (2002), making the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team. He went to the 2003 Pro Bowl, voted as an alternate in 2004 when he moved back to Center and voted back to the Pro Bowl in 2005.
Essentially, from 2002-2005, Bentley was a stud. No doubt. From 2006-2007, his body has simply degraded. Even though he cleared his physical, there's no telling how it will hold up against full contact.
Personally, we're not fans of Eric Ghiaciuc. Too many beastly men pushed the center into the backfield forcing Rudi Johnson to shift in the backfield (which has always been fatal). Dan Santucci could be well and good.
If money isn't a terrible factor (frankly we have no idea what he's looking for after two seasons off), do the Bengals go after him? One thing is for certain, he's ready and only signing if he starts: "I will be playing somewhere, starting, in '08 ."