Report: Cedric Benson will not be suspended by NFL

CINCINNATI - JANUARY 9: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball alongside David Harris #52 of the New York Jets in the third quarter during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell is apparently getting soft in his old(er) age.

Like Titans’ quarterback Vince Young, it appears as though Cedric Benson will escape punishment stemming from an incident that occurred at an Austin bar late last month in which witnesses claim he punched an employee. According to Adam Schefter via his Twitter page, Goodell will not suspend the Bengals’ running back.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the Bengals sign Benson to a contract extension now that he’s in the clear. He was angling for a new deal before the news about his bar altercation broke, so maybe the team will feel more confident giving him an extension. That said, nobody could blame Cincy if it wanted to waited until Benson stayed out of trouble the rest of the year.

As expected, Young wasn’t suspended either after he punched a man in the face at a strip club last month. It was the first time Young had gotten into any off-field trouble, so it was expected that Goodell would go easy on him being a first-time offender. The reports out of Tennessee have been mostly positive about VY this summer, so it appears as though the strip club incident was only a small roadblock for the 27-year-old QB.

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This is why the Bengals should wait to give Benson a new contract

A week ago, word out of Cincinnati was that Cedric Benson wanted a new contract and the Bengals were entertaining the thought of granting his wish. But Benson’s latest misstep with the law might have cost him the opportunity to earn a little financial security from his current employer.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

The Austin American Statesmen is reporting that Bengals running back Cedric Benson was arrested and charged with assault with injury early Tuesday after an incident last month at an Austin bar where witnesses said he punched a bar employee in the face.

Benson was booked into the Travis County jail where he later posted bail and was released, authorities said.

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.

Bar employee Bryan White told police that once outside, Benson complained that “all these white boys are ganging up on me and kicking me out,” then punched White in the face.

After signing with the Bengals, he said of his legal trouble: “Just, it’s a humbling experience. It keeps you grounded. It will bring your feet back to the ground if your feet weren’t grounded. Just kind of bring you home, (an) opportunity to look in the mirror, re-evaluate yourself and change yourself for the better. I just had to make a better decision, a few better decisions.”

This is exactly why I wrote last week that the Bengals should wait to give Benson a new deal. He had gotten into trouble multiple times with the Bears before arriving to Cincinnati and he’s under contract for the 2010 season. Thus, there’s no reason for the Bengals to give him a new deal before he proves that he can produce again on the field and stay out of trouble.

If the NFL suspends him, chances are he can kiss a long-term deal goodbye. The Bengals have proven time after time that they don’t make wise decisions when it comes to signing troubled players, but even they aren’t stupid enough to give Benson a new contract after this. In fact, he could be looking at nothing but one or two-year deals from here on out because no team is going to trust him.

He potentially cost himself millions of dollars because he had to be an idiot in a bar. Talk about bad timing.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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