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UPDATE: Cedric Benson has hired attorney David Cornwell, who also represented Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Another day, and another black eye for the NFL. This time the trouble takes the form of Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson. Benson who had his share of troubles while with the Chicago Bears seemed to have calmed down and found a home with the Bengals. However, Benson found himself arrested Tuesday in Austin, Texas. The NFL star was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching a bar employee in the face last month.
Benson was booked into the Travis County jail where he later posted bail and was released.
The Associated Press reports that according to the Austin police arrest affidavit, Benson was at Annie's West bar in the Sixth Street entertainment district on May 30 when he got into an altercation with another patron that left him spitting blood from a cut lip. After staff intervened, witnesses told police Benson shoved a bar worker and was verbally abusive. After being asked to leave, Benson was escorted to the door.
One bar employee told police that once Benson was outside the establishment he made racists remarks, claiming "all these white boys are ganging up on me and kicking me out." Benson then allegedly punched the employee in the face.
Benson faces up to a year in jail if convicted of the Class A misdemeanor.
So far neither Benson nor his attorney, Sam Bassett have made any statements to the press.
Benson has had his fair share of legal run-ins including two 2008 arrests for DUI. Charges on both were eventually dropped, but this prompted the Chicago Bears to dump the trouble child.
None of this is good news for Roger Goodell and the NFL, nor for the Cincinnati Bengals. Benson will likely face some form of suspension by Goodall and/or the team.
Expect some form of suspension for Benson. Roger Goodell will not take kindly to this incident. This is his third run-in with the law in two years, he should get suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. This will drop his value at least a few spots in your draft rankings, depending on the ultimate outcome of the case and the NFL's decision.
The likely benefactor of this latest moment of stupidity on Benson's part is sophomore Bernard Scott, the team's hopeful future at the running back position. Scott who is already one of my fantasy football sleeper picks for the year should get even more opportunity to shine in 2010. Benson was already on my list of potential busts in 2010, this only further solidifies my belief on Benson's decline and Scott's ascension.