Browns' Benard pleads not guilty

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Browns defensive end Marcus Benard pleaded not guilty to two traffic charges stemming from his motorcycle accident last week.

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Benard did not appear in Parma Municipal Court on Tuesday. His attorney, Patrick D'Angelo, faxed in the pleas.

Benard, who is done for the season after breaking his hand and sustaining other unspecified injuries in the high-speed crash, was charged with reckless operation and driving with a suspended license.

A pretrial hearing has been set for Nov. 21.

Benard spent three nights in the Cleveland Clinic following the crash.

Brooklyn Police estimated Benard was thrown 241 feet after smashing his three-wheel, Can-Am Spyder into a guardrail on Interestate-71. A witness told police that Benard was traveling at ''a high rate of speed'' before he crossed four lanes of traffic and slammed into the guardrail shortly after practice.

The Browns placed Benard on the reserve non-football injury list last week, and have decided to pay him for the remainder of this season. The team could have opted not to pay Benard because he violated a ''dangerous activities'' clause in his contract.

The 26-year-old led the team with 7 1/2 sacks last season.

Coach Pat Shurmur said last week he believes Benard has a future with the Browns.

Tagged: Browns, Marcus Benard

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