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Browns C Hallen Will Retire Friday

August 11, 2006

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Veteran center Bob Hallen, thrust into Cleveland’s starting lineup to replace injured Pro Bowler LeCharles Bentley, will announce his retirement on Friday because of a back injury.

``The possibility of him coming back is pretty much eliminated because he is in the process of faxing a retirement letter,″ Browns coach Romeo Crennel said after Cleveland’s 20-7 preseason loss to Philadelphia on Thursday night. ``He has decided to move on and that’s what we’re going to do.″

Hallen, who signed with the Browns in March after spending four seasons with San Diego, became the starter when Bentley sustained a season-ending knee injury on one of the first 11-on-11 drills early in training camp.

However, Hallen left camp on Wednesday without telling the team where he was going. He was placed on the exempt/left squad list, and the Browns traded a conditional pick in next year’s draft to the New England Patriots for center Ross Tucker.

Alonzo Ephraim, who was signed on July 30, started at center against the Eagles.

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