Benson on shaky ground
Bears know all they need to know to cut him
May 5, 2008
BY MIKE MULLIGAN email@example.com
If your cup is half full, you could look at Cedric Benson's arrest Saturday in Texas as a positive sign for the 2008 Bears. Benson is recovering from a fracture just above his left ankle that required a plate and screws to hold the bone together. As the team wonders how much speed the injury will cost him, it can take heart in the fact that he apparently has found his sea legs.
But even the ever-optimist Lovie Smith couldn't put a happy spin on this one, saying only that he was ''disappointed'' to hear Benson was charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest, charges Benson denied. He reportedly even had to be pepper-sprayed into submission. Smith said he needed to gather more information.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo was conveniently out of town and did not return phone calls. No doubt he needs to gather more information, as well.
Sadly, it's a bit late for that. There's a big enough pile of evidence for the Bears to cut ties with Benson without another thought. Maybe that's the real positive of his water-logged weekend. Benson has one leg out the door and another on a banana peel anyway after the draft last weekend, when the Bears effectively replaced him by using a second-round pick on Matt Forte.
Just remember one important fact if the Bears decide to cut bait with Benson now: His failure will have nothing to do with his injury. That excuse has been blown. The men who drafted Benson with the No. 4 pick in the 2005 draft and have coddled him ever since won't be able to say his career sputtered and died because of injury, an excuse they've used before to explain failed picks such as Marc Colombo.
If Benson is cut now, it will be because of a character flaw -- one that apparently went unnoticed when it came time to judge him as a college player. Every misstep Benson has made as a Bear, whether it be walking off the sideline during a preseason game or getting punched in the chops by Thomas Jones for goofing around during a drill in 2006 has been blamed on somebody else.
rest of story: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mulligan ... 05.article
also see: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/telander ... 05.article