Blog Entry

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 12:38 pm
Cedric Benson hasn't yet been suspended. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cedric Benson is reportedly facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's player-conduct policy during the lockout. But when the Bengals face the Bills this weekend, Benson will be on the field.

"I'm playing," he said according to the Bengals' official Twitter feed. And head coach Marvin Lewis confirms it

While there hasn't been an announcement from the NFL regarding Benson's suspension, he met with the league Tuesday as part of his appeal hearing. An explanation of the process from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello (sent to PFT Wednesday morning) sheds some light on the process.

“A player is not suspended until he has had an opportunity to file an appeal and for that appeal to be heard and adjudicated,” Aiello said via email.

There doesn't appear to be a timetable on when a ruling will come, either. The biggest issue is that Benson, who is apart of the NFL Players Association, was unaware that the NFLPA and the NFL had agreed to punish some of the players who had violated the league's conduct policy during the lockout. In fact, Benson last week filed a charge of unfair labor practice against the NFLPA. colleague Josh Katzowitz wrote Sunday, "Benson is arguing to the National Labor Relations Board that the NFLPA wasn’t a union during the lockout -- the NFL and a group of retired players all have made the same claim in various lawsuits because, in fact, the NFLPA decertified before the lockout began and took great pains to announce that it no longer was a union -- and Benson also says that he wasn’t an employee of any team during the lockout. Benson reasons that he shouldn't be suspended for actions that occurred when he wasn't an employee of the NFL or of the Bengals."

Benson isn't alone. Teammate Andrew Whitworth agrees.

"The union let those eight guys down,” Whitworth said, via Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner. “I don’t feel like that was fair. To me, if I was told that was a make or break, I would've said that’s a make or break deal that we were going to sell out eight guys to have an agreement."

As's Mike Florio pointed out Wednesday, "The biggest question seems to be whether the NFL has the power to impose discipline against players for off-field conduct occurring during the lockout. In Benson’s case, the situation is complicated by the fact that he wasn’t even employed by an NFL team, since his prior contract with the Bengals had expired."

Who knows how long it will take to sort this out, bur for now, Benson will keep playing.

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Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Good point jltexas.  But, the NFL should not have let Pryor in the Supplemental draft either.  Another bad call by the NFL.

Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:24 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

So, Benson should be suspended for violating league rules, but Britt and Taqlib can have multiple run-ins with the law and not have anything happen to them?  I just want to make sure that I understand the league policy.  It's karma that Britt tore up his knees and out for the season.  Didn't Taqlib try and shoot his mother or mother-in-law?  Burress got two years in the pokey for that, Taqlib....nothing.  The league policy is a joke and they need to be more consistent with suspensions.  Don't get me started on the game rules either.  Another waste of energy.  It seems the rules are too judgemental.  Define a defenseless receiver.  Define a illegal contact with the QB.  An offensive player can grab the facemask of a defender while stiff arming him, but the defender grazes the ball carrier's facemask and it's a 15 yard penalty.  Whatever!  Detroit rules the NFL, so there!!

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

G_eronimo ... He was a free agent and not under contract to anyone, so he was not under contract to the Bengals. He was unemployed at the time. The union was not on strike either, this was a lockout and the union decertified.  Benson is completely correct here, the NFL can not punish him for things done as a private citizen and not an employee of the NFL. The same argument can be used for Pryor, he was not an employee of the NFL so they have nothing they can do about what he did before being an employee of the NFL.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Right or wrong...he's still a repeat offender.  it's pathetic...coming out of college he was worried being a UT running back would hurt his draft value because he would be compared to Ricky Williams who was a problem player.  Turns out Benson isn't anywhere as talented a running back Williams was and Benson is just as much a problem player.

A lockout shouldn't have been viewed as a license to break the law.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:18 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

I'm with Benson on this one. If he is unemployed at the time of the crime, how can the league punish him for it? It's almost like suspending an employee for drinking eventhough that employee wasn't working for you at the time. Doesn't make any sense to me. Sorry Goodell, you are wrong on this one.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:04 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

I do not think he is correct at all. We all knew it was a sham decertification from the start. You cannot have it both ways. And I am pretty sure his contract was not voided by the Bengals. Being on strike does not mean you are not an employee (which means he should be subject to a suspension).

Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Dude if you want to play NFL football and help your team and make a nice paycheck..stay out of 'fing trouble and barfights !.Not so hard G..most of us do it everyday. I live in Midland Tx and you were a druggie and jerk then and YOU still are. Grow up and be a man.

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:56 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

People may not like the loophole here, but it is what it is. I don't think the NFL
has any justification in these matter. Not saying it's right, but it is what it is.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:49 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Not a big Cedric fan, but he is right.

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