Posted September 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Former Longhorn running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Last week two separate Travis county grand juries decided not to indict Benson and less than a week later he’s found a team that needs his services enough to take a chance on him. He had worked out for several teams since being released by the Bears but the lingering legal issues made teams reluctant to sign him.

Benson will come in and back up Chris Perry who is averaging only 2.9 yards per carry so far this season for the Bengals. If he picks up the offense quickly, he should be able to compete for carries and possibly the starting spot.

From the official Bengals website:

With running back DeDe Dorsey out for year, the Bengals turned to a star-crossed former first-round pick in Cedric Benson to back up Chris Perry Sunday in Dallas.

Benson joins the Bengals five days after two Travis County grand juries declined to indict him on charges of boating while intoxicated, resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated. in two spring-time incidents that spurred his release from the Bears.

Dorsey went to season-ending injured reserve with a hamstring injury while Perry’s other backup also nurses a hamstring problem. Kenny Watson, inactive last Sunday, appears to at least be questionable for the Cowboys, leaving only Perry and fullbacks Daniel Coats and Reagan Maui’a as healthy in the backfield.

The most interesting part of the story isn’t that Benson signed with an NFL team so quickly, it’s that the Bengals took another chance on a player with off-field issues. Bengals players over the last several years have repeatedly had run-ins with police and the team is on thin ice with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the issue. The team talked big back in April about community standards when they released WR Chris Henry and then re-signed him four months later. The signing of Benson makes football sense for the team but will likely have public relations repercussions in the city of Cincinnati.

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