The New Orleans Saints are 65 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Pack. Here is a look at one of New Orleans Saints history's most celebrated players to wear #65: OL LeCharles Bentley.
LeCharles Bentley, 41, played six NFL seasons, four with the New Orleans Saints. The four-year letter winner at Ohio State was a decorated All-American. In his Senior season, Bentley won the Rimington Trophy for the Nation’s Top Center. He also received first-team All-Big Ten honors and was a consensus All-American.
The New Orleans Saints drafted Bentley in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. After being selected 44th overall, the Saints moved Bentley from C to RG. Bentley excelled at RG, earning a spot on the NFL’s All-Rookie team and Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors from Sports Illustrated. The following season Bentley earned his first Pro-Bowl nod, starting 13 games for the Saints.
In 2004 and 2005, Bentley returned to his collegiate position of center. During the 2004 season, Bentley played all 16 regular-season games for the first and only time in his NFL career. Bentley’s last year in New Orleans came in 2005 when he earned his second trip to the Pro-Bowl, as an alternate. He dressed and started 14 games and headed into free agency as a top-rated target.
That offseason, Bentley signed a six-year deal worth $36M with the Cleveland Browns. Bentley would never play a down of football for the Browns after a patellar tear and a staph infection. After missing both the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Bentley was released and retired from the NFL in 2009.
Today, Bentley owns the L. Bentley O-Line Academy. In his four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Bentley dressed and started 57 games and earned two-trips to the Pro-Bowl. Ohio State inducted him into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Follow Saints News Network’s Writer, Brendan Boylan, on Twitter & Instagram at @btboylan.
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