Throughout this past season, all I kept thinking was "surely, LeCharles Bentley will make a firm statement that he's going to be back for the 2007 season." I knew that reports constantly doubted his status, but over and over again, I kept having hope. Unfortunately, as time goes on, things are looking bleak for Bentley's chances of playing this season, or at any time in his career (as DBN member Rayman reported here). Browns general manager Phil Savage stated that Bentley is considering a third operation to repair the patellar tendon he tore last training camp.
"If we get LeCharles back this year, we would consider that a bonus," he said. "Right now our plans would have to be that he's probably not going to be here in '07."
Now, there is some positive news regarding some other players, as Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Mary Kay Cabot reported this morning:
- Gary Baxter: The cornerback has exceeded doctor's expectations thus far as to how far he should be at this point. The Browns will take a heavy interest in Bills free agent cornerback Nate Clements, but if Baxter is able to come back, that could only be positive news and it would represent a Braylon Edwards type of recovery.
- Jason Wright: The team extended Wright's contract for another year through 2008. Whether he'll be the second or third running back, I think it's pretty safe to say that Wright will have a spot on the Browns roster for his now veteran gameship as well as his special teams contributions.
- Ryan Tucker: Tucker will be participating in the team's off-season program and plans to play in 2007 after his mental disorder this past season.
- Hank Fraley: According to Cabot, the Browns' interest in re-signing Hank Fraley has leapfrogged after the continuing bad news regarding Bentley.
- Brain Russell: For the moment, the same can't be said about the "glue" of our secondary. However, the Browns will probably make an offer to Russell after he becomes a free agent.
- Cap Room: The Browns have $30 million in cap room to spend in free agency, and it is expected that we will be active early and often.