The TV crews camped out at Halas Hall awaiting the return of Cedric Benson, but the Bears’ running back did not meet his stated goal of rejoining the club’s offseason program today.
Benson was absent for the voluntary workout program, a teammate said, missing for a second day after his arrest Saturday night on Lake Travis near Austin, Texas. Benson told the Sun-Times Sunday night that he expected to return to work Tuesday after tending to matters Monday in Texas.
His participation in the workout program thus far has been spot on, the player said, and it’s expected Benson will return soon. Ever since signing, Benson has never been a problem when it comes to attendance.
There are two more workout dates this week and Benson could use Friday as a make-up day if he chooses. Benson can miss only six days in the 40-day offseason program before forfeiting money.
A clause in his contract stipulates that $400,000 of his signing bonus, which was $4 million, is workout pay. That $400,000 is spread out over four offseasons, so if he fails to meet the 85 percent required attendance (34 of 40 days) he has to repay the club $100,000.
UPDATED: A team official said Benson did show up at Halas Hall today and has met with club officials. Whether or not it counts as participating for the day, we don't know.