Cedric Benson is innocent until proven guilty, of course. And the friends lucky enough to be invited onto his luxury yacht are coming to his defense, stating he did nothing wrong and was manhandled. How that situation will play itself out, only time will tell.
Regardless of how that situation plays itself out, in my opinion, Benson is an aloof, overpaid, underachieving bust.
I still find it interesting how Benson even became a Bear. Let’s all remember that following the 2002 season, Jerry Angelo announced that Anthony Thomas was not an elite running back So prior to the 2004 season, Angelo signed Thomas Jones to a very reasonable contract before the sun rose on the first day of free agency. Jones was a perfect fit for Terry Shea’s hybrid Kansas City/St. Louis offense, we were told.
Following a miserable offensive season in 2004, Shea was fired and Ron Turner hired. Despite Jones turning in decent rushing numbers, and catching more passes in a season than any other Bears running back in history, Smith, Turner and Angelo decided the Bears needed a stronger inside runner at the position.
That’s all fine and good. But as soon as the pre-draft scouting publications started calling Benson soft, a character risk and “like Rickey Williams but not as good,” my thought was “how is Benson different than Thomas?” Thomas was a free agent and attracted very little interest from other teams. I thought instead of drafting Benson with the fourth overall pick and sinking millions upon millions guaranteed into a potential head case, why not just re-sign Thomas to a reasonable deal, since Thomas had at least proven something?
But alas, that’s not how it worked out, and Bear fans sit in the offensive morass year after year. Indeed, the Benson saga prompted Pro Football Talk to release their bust list from the 2005 first round, and Benson sits squarely on that list.
Let’s just hope that Angelo thinks Matt Forte is an elite back, after investing a high second-round choice in him.