JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals waits to take the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 9, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. Cincinnati won 30-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
According to a league source, Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson is meeting with representatives from the National Labor Relations Board to discuss his unfair labor practice charge against the NFL Players Association.
Benson filed the charge against the NFLPA because of his pending suspension, which he appealed and has heard no decision from the league yet, after an offseason assault charge. The problem with the suspension is that not only was the NFL in the middle of a lockout but Benson wasn't under contract with a team. His contract with the Bengals expired after the 2010 season came to an end and he had yet to re-sign with the team. Also Benson and other players, including Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is the team's NFLPA representative, don't believe it's fair that the NFLPA gave up eight players, including Benson, who got in some sort of offseason trouble to be punished by the NFL while protecting others.
Earlier in the season, Benson commented on his suspension, saying that the union should have had his back.
"There were some things in the CBA that we were not made aware of, which is really no surprise. That kind of falls on the PA (players association)," Benson said. You would think they’re here to support you and have your back, that’s what a union does. I guess in my case it’s different.
"We’ve got a lot of good cards to play, a lot of evidence, a lot of facts to back me. We’ll present those things and hope for the best."
As for the actual suspension, we're still waiting to hear if Benson will have to serve the three-game suspension or if the NFL will reverse the ruling after his appeal. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that a decision will be coming shortly.
This case will be much bigger than Benson's suspension in the end. His unfair labor practices charge against the NFLPA could change the way the players association deals with the league and with the players in the future.