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Browns make big splash in day 1 of FA
By Zac Jackson, Staff Writer
March 11, 2006
As advertised, the Browns made an immediate splash in the free agent market Saturday.
Then another. And another.
The Browns added three free agents, two with Cleveland roots, upgrading the offensive line with LeCharles Bentley and Kevin Shaffer and adding reliable veteran Joe Jurevicius to the receiving corps.
Bentley played at Cleveland St. Ignatius High School and at Ohio State University. Jurevicius was part of two state championship teams at Mentor Lake Catholic High School before going on to play at Penn State.
Bentley, 26, was regarded as one of the top available talents on the free agent market, regardless of position. A two-time Pro Bowl pick and last year's starting NFC Pro Bowl center, he played right guard in 2002-03 and center the last two seasons for the Saints.
Jurevicius, 31, has played in three Super Bowls in his eight NFL seasons, one with each of his previous teams - the Giants, Bucs and Seahawks. He'll be counted on to provide leadership to the Browns' young receivers.
Jurevicius' career totals include 233 catches, 3,010 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had career highs of 55 catches, 694 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2005, his only season with Seattle.
Shaffer, who turned 26 earlier this month, has started 39 of 53 career games at left tackle including all 16 last season for the Falcons.
A seventh-round draft choice out of Tulsa in 2002, Shaffer played six games as a backup tackle as a rookie and made eight starts at left tackle in 2003. He missed just one game in two and a half seasons after taking over as the Falcons' left tackle.