Posted September 25th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

Cedric Benson

Cedric Benson

Two separate grand juries Thursday ruled there was not enough evidence against former Longhorn and former Chicago Bears running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] to proceed to trial. All charges against Benson stemming from his two alcohol-related arrests early this summer have now been dropped. Travis County Attorney David Escamilla told the Austin American-Statesman that both cases had weaknesses. “The boating while intoxicating case lacked a field-sobriety test,” Escamilla said. “The second one, in the video on the DWI, he appeared very good on the video.”

Benson has not commented today but Sam Bassett, Benson’s Austin-based attorney did speak to several media outlets. “I hope that this situation reminds us all that not every person who is arrested for a crime is guilty,” Bassett said. “This means that there was a finding by the grand juries that there was no probable cause to believe that Cedric Benson was guilty of a crime.”

Now that his legal matters are behind him Cedric will continue to try to get back into the NFL. He has worked out for several teams over the last several weeks but with two sets of criminal charges hanging over him NFL GMs were appropriately cautious. He hasn’t lived up to his billing so far, but he’ll get his second chance somewhere to make the most of his career and more importantly his life.

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Some quick notes on three former Longhorns…

Adam Schefter Reports Titans Think Vince Young Has a Torn MCL

Schefter is reporting that the Titans think [tag]Vince Young[/tag] tore his MCL. I am not really sure what that means. He is expected to have an MRI tomorrow. We will just have to wait and see what the MRI reveals.

Now it gets interesting. PFT is reporting that the Titans have contacted Chris Simms. If the Titans don’t have confidence that Ingle Martin, who is on the practice squad, can step in if Kerry Collins were to go down, they absolutely have to bring in another quarterback. Simms is probably the best guy available, but I would also put a call in to Daunte Culpepper to see how serious he is about retirement.

(Source)

Tom Brady done for the year, Chris Simms to work out for Patriots

The Patriots are resigned to the fact that Brady likely suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and perhaps other damage in his left knee during today’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Brady’s condition publicly. Brady exited the game after taking a hit to the knee and was replaced by backup Matt Cassel.

Free agent quarterback [tag]Chris Simms[/tag], released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final round of roster cuts, is scheduled to work out for the Patriots on Monday and could be signed by day’s end. The Patriots also could consider free agent Tim Rattay, a source said.

(Source)

Saints, Texans showing interest in Cedric Benson

Former Bears running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag], released by the team June 9 after two alcohol-related off-season arrests, said Saturday he has a tryout with the Houston Texans this week.

Benson also said by phone he’d had a workout with the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and that it “went well.” Benson believes teams are waiting for his legal matters to be cleared up before signing him.

(Source)

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Cedric Benson ordered to get breathalyzer device on car. Since Cedric can’t make good decisions, now a device will help do it for him.

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Cedric Benson DUI mugshotThoughts later, here’s the story from ESPN.com:

After his boating DUI charge, [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] remained a starting running back in the eyes of coach Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears.

His weekend DUI charge while in a car in Austin, Texas, has led to his release, however. The Bears placed Benson on waivers Monday, two years before the end of his contract and three years into a disappointing career with the team.

“Cedric displayed a pattern of behavior we will not tolerate,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said in a statement. “As I said this past weekend, you have to protect your job. Everyone in this organization is held accountable for their actions. When individual priorities overshadow team goals, we suffer the consequences as a team. Those who fail to understand the importance of ‘team’ will not play for the Chicago Bears.”

Benson wasn’t present at the Bears organized practice Monday. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site that Benson showed up and was sent home by Smith.

Reporters waited for a statement from Angelo as he walked off the field on Monday, but he said the team might have a statement later in the day.

The statement turned out to be an action. Benson’s name appeared on the NFL’s waiver wire Monday afternoon, ending the three-year relationship.

Though the 5-foot-10, 220-pound runner claimed his innocence on both DUI charges, the team apparently lost faith in him. Because he’s only been in the league for three seasons, Benson does not have his contract automatically terminated. He can be claimed by any other interested team on waivers.

Before his release, Benson made one last ditch effort to repair the situation, issuing an apology on Monday afternoon.

“I apologize for making the poor decision to drink and drive during the early morning of Saturday, June 7th,” he said in a statement. “Given the incident last month, it was a particularly bad decision. I have no excuse for this lack of judgment.

“Though I strongly believe that I am not guilty of any crime, I realize that the public and the Bears organization hold me to higher standard. Though my local attorneys will continue to work hard to prove my innocence, I confess to using poor judgment. Please accept my deepest apology.”

Would you want Cedric Benson on your favorite NFL team?

Total Votes: 213

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ESPN is ranking the top running backs in the NFL and three former Longhorns made their list. Unfortunately, all three made it on the third tier of rankings of 41-64. [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] was backed up by [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] who was backed up by [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag], and they’re all now playing in the league. All three guys will have a chance to prove themselves this season and move up in the rankings.

47. Cedric Benson, Chicago Bears

Cedric BensonSuperpower – Benson has the physical size and athletic ability to be a productive starter. He has good vision combined with good pad level and good balance for running inside. He can read blocks and show patience, then accelerate with good burst for his size. He also is a capable receiver out of the backfield.

Kryptonite – He has not produced up to his potential during his first three seasons, and he has failed to prove to management and his teammates that he can be “the guy.” His overall passion for the game and desire to be a dominant player have been questioned.

My Thoughts – The comments on Benson are not far off. Though he hasn’t reached his potential I think in the right atmosphere he could excel, but that may not be in Chicago. The most laughable part of their rankings is that they have rookie Matt Forte six spots higher than Benson.

60. Selvin Young, Denver Broncos

Selvin YoungSuperpower – He is coming off an impressive rookie season in which he provided excellent depth in the Broncos’ backfield. Young was a pleasant surprise for the Denver staff after being acquired as a college free agent in 2007. He showed deceptive power for his size, as he runs with conviction and great body lean. He has excellent vision and instincts with the lateral quickness and agility to find a crease.

Kryptonite – Young has had durability concerns in the past, and it remains to be seen how well he can handle the pounding with more playing time. He lacks great elusiveness in space and is more of a straight-line runner. He will need to develop in the passing game, especially in blitz-pickup situations.

My Thoughts – There’s some scrubs ranked higher than Selvin that don’t deserve to be but he’s going to have to do it for more than one season to be moved any higher. With the release of Travis Henry he’ll get that chance this year and could have a great season if he stays healthy for 16 games.

64. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal CharlesSuperpower – He will be coming into the league to complement the Chiefs’ featured running back. He is a good combination of athleticism and instincts. He has excellent speed and burst both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. He is football player who has outstanding track speed. He should give the Chiefs an explosive threat on the perimeter as well as after the catch.

Kryptonite – He doesn’t have great power as an inside runner. He needs to gain weight and strength to become a complete back. Charles isn’t always a patient runner and needs to mature as a between-the-tackles ball carrier. Charles also needs to improve his blitz-pickup and develop his route running. He is somewhat of a one-dimensional player, lacking inside, short-yardage and goal-line effectiveness.

My Thoughts – I think Charles is an underrated inside runner. They’re right that he’s often impatient but he’s not afraid to run inside and if he sees a small crease he’ll take it. Also has better power than he’s given credit for and rarely goes down on first contact.

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Cedric Benson rejoins Bears. He’s confident his name will be cleared & disappointed in those who rushed to judgement.

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Posted May 8th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Again, video of [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] looking about as cooperative as you can look when being arrested:

I know I’m a UT homer but every single bit of new news and information I get supports Benson more and more. I have a feeling this gets thrown out at his hearing on May 19th.

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We now have another account of this weekend’s events on Lake Travis from a friend of [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag]. Elizabeth Cartwright, a senior English major at Texas, corroborates Benson’s version of the events and also questions why he was pepper sprayed.

Notes on Cartwright’s interview from the Chicago Tribune below:

Cartwright, an English major at the University of Texas who is to graduate later this month, estimated she and her fiance had been boating with Benson six times this spring and each time a Lower Colorado River Authority boat pulled them over for a safety check.

There were about 15 people on the boat, including Benson’s mother, Jackie, who had spent much of the evening swimming in a part of the lake known as Devil’s Cove. Just when the group had decided to head back to shore around 9:30 p.m. and go out to dinner, a patrol boat stopped to conduct a random check.

According to Cartwright, she had consumed one beer and Benson had two drinks.

“I know Cedric and I don’t think he was drunk,” Cartwright said.

The arrival of LCRA police perturbed Benson because of the frequency of the checks on his 30-foot boat, Cartwright said.

When Benson’s boat passed the safety inspection, Cartwright said she and her fiance were surprised the officer then required a sobriety test for Benson.

“We were all like, ‘Why?’ ” she said.

After an officer led Benson to the LCRA boat for the test, the second officer left behind on Benson’s boat assured a nervous Jackie Benson that her son would be fine, Cartwright recalled.

A few minutes later, Cartwright said she heard Benson begin to scream after the officer pepper-sprayed him in the eye. By the time Benson was in handcuffs, he was screaming, “Please stop, Mom, make them please stop.”

Cartwright disputed that Benson was resisting arrest.

Panicked, Cartwright called her father, Jeff, to give him a description of the physical way she saw her friend being treated and told him to call 911.

Unaware the friend in question was Benson, Jeff Cartwright called 911 and told the dispatcher that police “were beating up a black kid on Lake Travis.”

The biggest thing that stands out from her statement is that she had been out on the lake with Benson six times this year and every single time they have been stopped for “random safety inspections.” Doesn’t seem so random anymore does it? If that is true, there’s something clearly wrong here.

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Cedric Benson mugshotEx-Longhorn running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] was arrested over the weekend on Lake Travis for boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest. According to police, Saturday night he failed a sobriety test and resisted arrest strongly enough that officers had to use pepper spray and drag him ashore.

Benson’s side of the story is very different and according to his lawyer he is going to fight the charges. He claims he was not drunk, did not resist arrest, and was pepper sprayed unnecessarily:

“They gave me a field sobriety test, told me to say my ABCs and told me to count from 1 to 4 up and down,” Benson told the Chicago Tribune. “I’m thinking, I passed all the tests, did everything right. Then the officer told me we needed to go to land to take more tests. I politely asked him why we needed to go to land to take more tests when I took every test. Then he sprayed me with mace, on his boat.

“I’m not handcuffed. I’m not under arrest. I’m not threatening him. I’m not pushing him. I’m not touching him. And he sprays me right in my eye.”

Cedric believes he not only passed the sobriety test but was also cooperative with the police when his boat was stopped for a “random safety inspection.” That sure sounds like a possible BWB (boating while black) issue.

Not a good situation and even worse timing for Cedric as he was already going to spend training camp fighting for his starting gig in Chicago. These are pretty serious charges and a conviction could possibly even mean jail time. The Austin Police Department doesn’t exactly have the best track record and things here don’t seem exactly right, so hopefully Ced is innocent and things are cleared up as quickly as possible.

Note: Some people (including notoriously incorrect blowhard Colin Cowherd) have commented on Cedric’s mugshot as evidence he was drunk. I imagine being pepper sprayed in the face might have something to do with his bloodshot eyes in the photo.

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ESPN reviews each AFC and NFC team draft since 2000. Not so great for the Longhorns until recent years.

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