The Browns will try to re-sign defensive end Marcus Benard, even if they don't offer him a restricted free-agent tender, a league source said.
Pro Football Talk reported this morning that the Browns don't plan to make Benard a tender offer. However, the source told the Beacon Journal "nothing is set in stone on that."
If the Browns don't tender Benard, they would still try to sign him to a free-agent contract. Free agency is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. March 13.
Benard is rehabilitating from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident in October and expects to make a full recovery and be able to play football again, Browns General Manger Tom Heckert told the Beacon Journal earlier this month. Other than a broken hand, Benard’s injuries were not disclosed.
Benard spent the final 12 games of the season on the reserve non-football injury list. After Benard's motorcycle accident, the Browns paid him about $370,000, the remainder of his 2011 base salary of $525,000, even though they weren’t required to do so once he was placed on the list.
Benard, 26, led the Browns with 7.5 sacks in 2010.