Last night, Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson and his lawyer—David Cornwell—met with NFL Commissioner Roger Gooodell on Thursday to discuss the incident from May 30th in Austin, Texas. Benson was arrested and charged with assault on June 29th after witnesses claimed he punched a bar employee at Annie's West after he refused to be escorted out following a fight with another patron.
However, a statement released by Cornwell a few days after the arrest showed a different side of the story that made many believe the incident wasn't as bad as reports first indicated. Still, Bengals fans should just be relieved with how productive the meeting between Benson and Goodell was.
"The Commissioner and Cedric had a frank and productive discussion regarding the benefits of playing in the NFL as well as the price to enjoy those benefits," Cornwell wrote in a message to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com . "Cedric is his best advocate and I believe the Commssioner was pleased with their discussion."
Despite the productive meeting, there's still no exact time line of when Goodell plans on making his decision on whether or not Benson will be suspended during the 2010 season. Cornwell was unsure of whether or not Goodell will make the decision prior to the start of the regular season or if he will wait for the case to be resolved in court.
For now, Benson and Cincinnati fans continue to wait for a final decision and whether or not this incident will affect the 2010 season. Not only are the Bengals looking to repeat as AFC North Champions, but are also looking for their first back-to-back winning seasons in 28 years.
Benson was the main factor behind Cincinnati's 128.5 yards-per-game average last season—ranking them ninth in the NFL. With the fourth toughest schedule in 2010, the Bengals may rely on him even more this season.
On the bright side, at least last year's 26th ranked passing game should be more reliable if needed.