Uh-Oh. Cedric Benson has to sit down with "the man" on Thursday about his alleged May 30 assault in an Austin, Texas bar. Benson will be meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the altercation and Goodell will likely come to a conclusion on whether or not he will suspend Benson or punish him in some other way. Luckily for Benson, Marvin Lewis and a few others are in his corner.
That doesn't necessarily mean anything though. We've all seen Goodell lay the smack-down on players who didn't even break the law or on players who's cases were dropped. When it comes to the NFL, Goodell is the judge, jury and in some cases, the executioner.
Most people who know anything about the case, including me, are thinking that when this meeting comes to an end, Benson will still be large and in charge of the Bengals backfield for the entire 16 games. Something smelled fishy about this case from the first time I heard about it and I think Goodell can smell it too (I just sounded like a Hardy Boy).
It is weird, though, that Goodell is meeting with Benson before the case is officially resolved. Mike Florio says why:
The timing is curious, given that Benson's pending criminal case has not yet been resolved. Then again, it's possible that the league office regards Benson as a repeat offender under the Personal Conduct Policy, even though two prior arrests (drunk driving, drunk boating) resulted in no conviction or guilty plea.
Then there's the fact that Benson didn't bother to tell the team or the league about the recent charges before officially being arrested. Though he claims that he emerged from the incident at an Austin, Texas club believing he was the victim, Benson learned a couple of weeks later in no uncertain terms that a club employee contends that Benson committed assault. Under the language of the Personal Conduct Policy, which require a prompt report after any incident that "may be" a violation, Benson did himself no favors by not calling the Bengals immediately after being contacted by a detective regarding the allegations.
Hopefully Goodell is meeting with Benson on Thursday to let him know that he thinks that this case is malarkey and that he has nothing to worry about. Hopefully Goodell doesn't see Benson as a repeat offender. Benson really cleaned up his act since he arrived in Cincinnati (not that he necessarily had to clean up his act) and has really come into his own. He has the potential to be a long term head-bashing running back for the bengals. I'd hate to see him get sidelined because he was defending himself after he got sucker punched by a bouncer in Texas.