For the most part, the NFL has avoided a run of players getting in trouble with the law while not under team supervision. (Kenny Britt being the exception, of course.) The news, however, that Cedric Benson was arrested in Austin, Texas, early Sunday morning won't help that cause.
UPDATE (8:45 p.m. ET): According to wire reports, Benson was released from jail on Sunday following an arrest on an assault charge, the second year in a row he has gotten into trouble in his home state.
Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade said Benson was arrested in downtown Austin on a misdemeanor count of assault with bodily injury with family violence. Benson attorney Sam Bassett said in a statement the arrest followed "a conflict" between Benson and a male former roommate.The Bengals were predictably mum on the situation. "In cases like this, we don't feel it's appropriate to comment before there's some kind of legal resolution," team spokesman Jack Brennan said.
Wade said Benson posted a $10,000 bond and was released just before 2 p.m.
Bassett considers the "family violence" aspect of the charge erroneous "since the alleged male victim no longer is Mr. Benson's household member and was not a household member for the past few days." Conviction of assault with family violence would draw a stiffer penalty than simple assault.
Benson will be an unrestricted free agent in 2011 (assuming a reversion to old CBA rules), and there was a good chance that he could land a nice contract because of the market's demand for running backs.
This arrest -- along with the fact that Benson has a previous assault charge from June 2010, in Austin -- won't do much to boost his value.
And depending on whether commissioner Roger Goodell and the league can enforce the personal conduct policy while the players are locked out, Benson could end up facing a suspension, something he miraculously avoided the last time he was arrested for assault.
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