Bentley, Browns settle lawsuit

"These last six years have been the most trying time of my life, but now that it is over I can honestly say I am a better man for having gone through it,"Bentley said in a statement.

Bentley's ordeal started on the first day of training camp in 2006, after he had signed a free-agent deal to return home to play for the Browns.

On the first play of team drills, he tore a patellar tendon. That led to surgery, which led to staph, which almost led to the loss of his leg. The lawsuit charged he almost lost his life.

The infection did cut short a Pro Bowl career. The Ohio State product was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in his career with the New Orleans Saints (2002-05).

The Browns had previously settled a similar suit brought by receiver Joe Jurevicius but decided to challenge Bentley's.

The team appealed, stating the case should be heard by an NFL arbitrator and not in Cuyahoga County courts. An Ohio appeals court ruled the suit was not part of the collective bargaining agreement and could continue. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed. The Browns took the case to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear it in April.

The case was proceeding with discovery when Lerner became more involved. He and Bentley decided to sit down and work things out.

"I've appreciated Randy's friendship and honesty throughout this process," Bentley said.

He now will focus his efforts full time on his O-Line Academy in Avon, a place where he trains college and professional linemen. His clients include Jason Pinkston, Shawn Lauvao and O'Neill Cousins of the Browns, and San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone of Cleveland. Bentley also did special individual work with Browns running back Montario Hardesty.

Pat McManamon appears courtesy of FoxSportsOhio

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