According to his attorney Sam Bassett, Cedric Benson was released from jail on Saturday afternoon, serving a 20-day sentence after pleading no contest for his May 2010 assault. He was released early due to good behavior. Benson wavered on his decision as to when he'd actually serve his sentence, with many believing that he would turn himself in during Cincinnati's bye week in an attempt to miss as little regular season time as possible. Well, Benson wisely decided to get this sentence done with as early as possible, turning himself in five days ago. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Benson is already done with his jail sentence - a couple of days earlier than most expected.
Benson's attorney issued this statement regarding his client's release:
"Mr. Benson was released from jail today, having served his sentence. Mr. Benson was credited for his full jail sentence pursuant to policies which apply to every inmate sentenced for a misdemeanor. He worked while in the jail, mopping floors and assisting the paint crews. He received additional credit because of this work. Every inmate in his circumstance is treated the same for purposes of calculating jail time credit. He looks forward to getting back to work and having a good season."
Reedy continues by making the assumption that Benson could return to the team as soon as Monday. If that's the case, it's going to be interesting to see how two things play out over the next couple of days.
The first will be if Commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Benson for serving time in jail. Benson claims he hasn't received a letter from the league office about any meetings with the Commissioner and Roger Goodell already decided not to suspend him soon after the May 2010 incident. Will that change now that Benson has served time and has two run-ins with the law over past two seasons hanging over his head?
The second is regarding what happens to the current group of running backs on the roster. The Bengals kept four true running backs on the roster this year, with Cedric Peerman making the roster in part as a security blanket for the Bengals if Benson were to miss any time this season. If Benson doesn't miss time, does Peerman stick on the 53-man roster? Stay tuned, it should be an interesting next few days as this situation plays itself out.