We’d love to know what the documents regarding the sale of the Browns from Randy Lerner to Jimmy Haslam say about the concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL and, necessarily, the 32 teams that are the NFL. We don’t to need to know what the documents say about the lawsuit filed against the Browns by former center LeCharles Bentley.
We don’t need to know because Bentley’s lawsuit has been settled.
It’s unknown whether and to what extent the sale prompted the settlement, but it would be hard to blame Haslam if he wanted to acquire the asset free and clear of litigation dating back to the franchise’s not-too-distant staph-infection past.
And while Haslam may be happy that it’s gone, Bentley may be even happier.
“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 Monday night, via Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com. “Randy Lerner and I — two men born and raised in Cleveland — were able to sit down face to face back in June and come to an agreement that was fair.”
It would be interesting to know whether Bentley’s lawyers knew that the team was being sold when they worked out the agreement. If Bentley’s lawyers had known, there’s a chance they would have wanted more money in order to make it go away.
The fact that Bentley’s lawyers had been able to navigate the legal system to avoid the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and remain in court, where the NFL has zero control over its destiny, already suggests that Bentley got plenty.
As most civil settlements are, this one was confidential. But the parties agreed to publicize that the package includes a scholarship program at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland for underprivileged children. “One hundred and twenty young men will be blessed with a scholarship to attend one of the most academically and athletically rigorous schools in the country,” Bentley said. “[To] a school that not only provides a great education, but also molds boys into responsible men. This is another example of the good things the Lerner family does for this city that nobody ever hears about.”
For a guy who was suing the Lerner family for providing substandard medical care after he popped a patellar tendon during the first play of team drills in his first training-camp practice with the team in 2006, Bentley is being very charitable.
If we knew how charitable Lerner was being to resolve Bentley’s lawsuit, we may know why.