Cedric Benson: Man, You Messed Up
Remember that skit from Chappelle's Show that went through time showing how the different "generations" of Dave Chappelle attempted to fight the law and had the repeated line, "man [insert person here] is messing up"?
Well, you can add Cedric Benson to that list, and as much as he didn't want to be confused for Ricky Williams in college, he sure did everything he could to reserve a spot next to the holistic one during his years with the Bears.
Truth be told, Benson was doomed from the start. An overrated back coming out of the powerhouse that is the Texas Longhorns, the Bears selected Benson fourth overall in the draft.
Benson started off the year as a holdout, and essentially alienated himself from much of the team. No matter for the Bears' coaches and GM however. As the Bears decided that Thomas Jones was done, despite two years of 1200+ rushing yards, and traded him away to make the dreadlocked wonder their premiere running back.
The Bears handed Benson the keys and waited for him to start producing...
Perhaps Benson's saving grace was that between the neverending story of Good Rex/Bad Rex, constant injury problems, Tank Johnson, and a constantly overachieving team, no one could notice the incompetent one-hit wonder.
Sure, Benson looked good in '06, running through holes the size of small countries, but as we learned this past year, Benson clearly can't take a hit (on the field or off of it, apparently).
As if a hugely underwhelming 2007 campaign wasn't enough, Benson followed with two suspicious arrests. Considering Benson's position, why he was consuming anything stronger than water is beyond me. But nonetheless, Benson simply pushed the team too far. The same team that was forced to release Tank Johnson not too long ago, mind you.
Truth be told, unlike the Tank Johnson case, I'm sure the Bears were wanting to release Benson for a while. But now they have a "valid" excuse so they don't have to openly admit they made a horrible draft choice.
And to think, the Bears could've picked up Rashard Mendenhall this year...
Now, with the release of Benson, the Bears' backfield looks something like this:
Chicago, we have a problem.
So what's next for Cedric Benson? Well, I'm sure he'll get on a practice squad somewhere. However, with a handful of talented backs, there's no real reason to take a risk with him.
That leaves him plenty of time to get into trouble, and also allows him to solidify a place in Chicago Bears lore as yet another first round bust (keeping Curtis Enis and Rashaan Salaam company, no less).
Keep Austin weird, Cedric.
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