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Texans sign Bentley

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Linebacker Kevin Bentley is a versatile player that will compete for a starting job with the Texans in 2008.

The Texans have signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Kevin Bentley, the team announced today.

Bentley (6-0, 238) is entering his seventh NFL season. He spent the last three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, where he appeared in 43 games, starting five. Last season, he started a pair of games and recorded 17 tackles. He recorded a season-high 10 tackles against San Francisco (11/12/07) to lead the Seahawks' defense in a 24-0 win. He was a major contributor on special teams, piling up 32 special teams stops in three seasons in the Emerald City.

"Kevin's a bright guy with a lot of versatility," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "He's athletic enough to play all three linebacking spots. He's another fine, young player we can add to our defense. He's an ascending player we feel that's on the rise."

{QUOTE}Bentley was taken with the fourth round (101st overall) of the 2002 draft by the Cleveland Browns, where he spent the first three seasons of his career. He played in 44 games, starting 17. He left Cleveland with 205 tackles, a pair of forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery. The best season of his career was in 2003, when Bentley started 14 games, collecting a career-high 113 tackles.

"We're excited to get this young man because he upgrades our team from a speed standpoint," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's familiar with our system from being with Ray (Rhodes) in Seattle. He's a very smart young man. We feel we upgraded our talent and he fits with our players."

Bentley hails from Montclair, Calif. He attended Northwestern, where he was a three-year starter. He collected 390 tackles in his colligate career. He was named second team All-Big Ten as a senior as he led the team with 147 tackles.

"I'm very excited to be here," Bentley said. "It's an up and coming team. It's a great opportunity for me and my family. I'm very excited about the situation all around. It's a first-class organization. The coaches, the general manager, everyone was really friendly and outgoing. It felt like a family environment and the facilities were really nice."

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