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Bolts Sign Free Agent LB Kevin Bentley

Free agent inside linebacker Kevin Bentley has signed a one-year deal with the Chargers, Scott Bair of the North County Times reports.

The 31-year-old Bentley has primarily played in a 4-3 during his career with the Cleveland Browns, who selected the former Northwestern standout in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. During Bentley’s nine-year career, he’s totaled 412 tackles, one quarterback sack and two interceptions.

Bentley adds insurance for inside linebacker Stephen Cooper, who is attempting to play through at torn biceps.

“I told them, ‘Let me go out there and do it,'” Cooper said on Tuesday. “I said, ‘If you don’t feel like I’m doing my job or playing up to expectations, then you make the judgment.'”

Cooper has missed just four games to injury during his career, all coming last season which saw him finish the season on injured reserve with a knee injury. After spending the lockout as a free agent, uncertain of his future with the Chargers or any club, Cooper gutting it out to avoid the injured reserve list is no surprise.

The 32-year-old also has financial reasons to stay on the 53-man roster.

According to a league source, Cooper’s one-year, minimum salary benefit contract contains a split, meaning if he lands on injured reserve, instead of receiving a $810,000 base salary, he’ll be paid $378,000.


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