Chicago Sun-Times

Dollars and sense: Saying goodbye to Benson

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We interrupt this vacation to bring you the latest in the Cedric Benson situation.

Well, maybe not the latest. We’re simpy going to try to tie a bow on this one and be done with it as efficiently as we can.

While it’s been suggested at least in some places that Benson will count $3.5 million vs. the Bears’ salary cap this season, that’s not accurate. Benson will not be owed his base salary of $820,000, and the only thing left on his contract to figure is the $4 million signing bonus he received in 2005 and the $7.1 million option bonus the contract included.

Using those figures he will count $2.575 million against the cap this year and again in 2009. It actually represents a savings for this year and that’s hardly a burdensome figure in terms of dead money for ’09. This is all provided Benson, who was placed on waivers, is not claimed. If he’s claimed, there will be acceleration and the Bears will be looking at a different scenario. It’s doubtful anyone will claim the troubled former fourth overall pick.

The question remaining is if the club will pursue Benson for a portion of the money he’s been paid. Benson has pocketed $13.7 million for three seasons, short of the $16 million guaranteed in the deal (more on that later) and less than half of the maximum value of $29.96 million.

The deal included the $4 million signing bonus, $7.1 million option bonus, a conditional 2005 roster bonus of $1.44 million and the annual base salaries. The three bonuses all had language tied to them that provides the Bears with an opportunity to recoup a pro-rated portion if he is found to be in default of his contract. According to the deal, Benson could have $5.726 million in jeopardy. This is where it gets gray, as in charcoal. While the contract stipulates that conduct detrimental to the team or a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy can put him in default, it’s not that easy.

A U.S. district judge ruled in February that the Atlanta Falcons could seek reimbursement from jailed quarterback Michael Vick for only a pro-rated portion of his signing bonus, that going after additional monies (such as roster bonuses or option bonuses) would violate the collective bargaining agreement. With that as precedent, the Bears could seek only $1.6 million from Benson, the pro-rated portion of his signing bonus.

To be in default, Benson would likely have to be convicted on one or both of his arrests in Texas or suspended by the league. It could be the club just wants to wash its hands of Benson and move forward, get a clean break. It could be the club has not made a determination. Maybe general manager Jerry Angelo will shed some light on this in the future. Stay tuned.

As far as the guaranteed money totaling $16 million ... Benson never realized that figure because he was that bad on the field. The contract included multiple opportunities for him to trigger two $1.73 million bonuses ($3.46 million total). He finished with 674 yards rushing last season when he broke his left leg/ankle, leaving him 27 yards shy of triggering one of the bonuses. They were simple requirements and a variety of ways he could have earned the money by now. It just didn’t happen. So count it as a savings. So much for some guarantees.

Benson’s departure parallels that of Tank Johnson. He was given an ultimatum of sorts last June and within 36 hours or so of the offseason program wrapping up at Halas Hall, Johnson found himself facing charges (he was eventually exonerated) of drunk driving in Gilbert, Ariz.

It’s not how the team handled defensive lineman Bryan Robinson. He picked up two DUI’s in four-month span in 2002. Robinson also broke each wrist (one required surgery) in what he said was a fall down some steps in his home. A member of the Bears coaching staff at the time later said Robinson told the club he was actually injured in an ATV accident. Whatever. The point is, Robinson had multiple booze arrests like Benson and he lived to play another down under the same administration that told Benson he was done on Monday. Robinson started 77 of 79 games for the Bears during one stretch. Perhaps the difference is Benson never made himself indispensable on the field.

That, after all, is what this was all about, right?

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What a good decision. Those have been few and far between with this mgmt. group. We're a better team right away because of it. So long Ced!

totally agree brad. if benson was a 1500 yards a season kind of back this wouldn't have been a problem. if he were an mvp type of player he could commit murder and still play, he would need an acquittal of course (think of ray lewis). if he wasn't a 1st rounder he would have already been cut. i think these two incidents just added to an already poor dossier. he sucked on the field (he did have a few moments with thomas jones), he sucked as a teammate and now he sucks off the field too, adios cedric.

maybe he should give a try at baseball, the dodgers did draft him. hmmm you know baseball allows a lot more of that kind of behavior than the nfl, heck cedric might just fit it.

his aloof nature, ohh that just cedric being cedric
hey it works for manny ramirez

being a drunk, ha! i think every mlb guy is

i don't know about being sorry on the field but maybe he's a better baseball player than football player, at least nobody will be trying to tackle him.

if any of you guys get the nfl network "on demand" you should watch the bears game they have. it's the chicago win over denver. peanut had an amazing game, cedric went down, hester 2 tds and 2 muffs, and it shows a perfect example why rex is such a risk. it was probably one of benson's best games, before he got injuried. i think forte can replace benson's best anyday.

PLEASE...puhleeeeeze...don't start calling out the Bears for not drafting Mendenhal. If most of you were not from Illinois you'd realize Mendenhal was a one year wonder against a bad Big Ten and that's why multiple running backs were selected before him. Also, I still don't understand why the Bear's owners (the McCaskeys) remain silent on every character issue raised over the last two seasons. Letting your GM do the talking is OK if you are a moron like Michael, but Virginia, please step forward and make Papa Bear proud by commenting on this fiasco. Any other owner worth their salt would've spoke up by now.

Why does the Bears ownership remain silent? Other owners, not just the ancient Al Davis or the geriatric Jerry Jones, will occasionally voice their opinion concerning the face of their franchise. The owners of this team choose to allow the GM and coaching staff do all their talking. In your opinion (based on what has happened over the last 2 seasons) is this the correct approach? Does the current ownership still have direct control over this team or have they gotten too far removed from the issues that face this team? During the up and down results (mostly down) this team has had over the last several decades, aside from the Michael McCaskey debacle, the ownership has stayed in the background during a mostly mismanaged and mediocre run as a franchise. Is it time to fire Ted Phillips? Can such a thing be done? What does Ted think? Will you please look into this as a responsible journalist? It seems the Bears ownership gets a pass while the coaches, GMs and players are constantly grilled.

i agree with ya joe about mendenhall being a 1 year wonder, and im an illini fan. about time the bears did something smart and got rid of ced. that dude is a poor excuse for a running back!!! i dont know much about forte, but he cant do any worse than ced, and thats a fact! think the bears need to go out now and get a veteran running back to help forte this year. gonna have to say to jerry, nice move dude

I already forgot Benson was a Bear. Good riddance, and now moving on to the running game.

You can't blame the BEars for not drafting Mendenhall. There's no way they could've forseen this as Benson's first arrest was 2 weeks after the draft.

Not that Mendenhall isn't good. It's just that the OL we got is just that much more of a need at the time. Even if Benson was gone at the draft, I still think Bears draft Williams. Plus, history has shown that good RB's can be found after round one every year. This Forte guy seems to have good character. I have heard nothing otherwise. He is big at 220, and fast enough to be "good", but not "great". Plus he can pick up a blocking and catch the ball. I would have to say that this guy is better than Benson (I know thats not saying much now).

If Williams is good, then he is instantly more valuble than Mendenhall ever ws projected to be. Him being good really allows other OL to play to their strengths. Could "potentially" be the best line Lovie has had. If that is the case the bears will get 2000 rush yards this season, average 20 points a game and 32 minutes TOP. Note that those 20 points are only offensive points. You know at some point the defense and Hester will score a few.


Remind me again; why did Angelo decide to get rid of Thomas and keep Benson after Thomas had proven to be the most reliable back since Walter?


brad- seem like each time you go on "vacation' we get big news.. : )

whether it was signing all the picks on that one day or now ced's latest incidence

I really think the team is "moving on' from all the distractions and trying to get a TEAM, not individuals looking fout for themselves, maybe i'm just being optimistic, but giving Moose- who threw all qb's under the bus, berrian- who at times didn't block or didn't finish routes or fight for the ball, miller- the walking false start man, arch- the "next guy i Cover will be a first",and benson ALL THE HEAVE-HO a good thing to me.

Sometimes its addition by subtraction and IMo this is the case here. think angelo summed it up pefectly

"When individual priorities overshadow team goals, we suffer the consequences as a team," Angelo said in a statement. "Those who fail to understand the importance of 'team' will not play for the Chicago Bears."

Thomas Jones is in New York laughing his butt off! I still can't believe that we traded a leader and a work horse and a 2nd round pick for this pile of crap to be our starter!

U fans are just as dumb as Bears mgmt. Once Cedric gets picked up by a team with REAL coaches he will excell in the NFL. Unlike the Bears clowns at QB.

Shame on you Cedric Benson for not honoring the fans and the teams trust, shame on you Jerry and the Bears for putting you trust and the fans trust in you for drafting and keeping him, last but not least shame on the Bear fans in this blog who are lowering themselves and calling names (i.e. "piece of crap") and making yourself sound juvenile. This man (Benson) made several bad decisions and came off as a immature person but name calling is below our level and sounds petty and childish. This man needs help like any human being who has strayed and show very little concern for committment. How many of you name callers have failed miserably at some point in your lives. I hope he can turn his life around just not here.

I'm a die hard Bears fan but I have a big question too ask.Who are they gonna bring in too compete for the number 1 spot?I dont know mych about the rookie but I dont think Forte is ready too be a starter.Peterson is a better special team player than a running back and Wolfe is more of an situational back.DOES ANYONE THINK THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THIS QUESTIONS FOR ME?!?

TJ??? yeah that ONE td TOTAL and 3.6 ypr in 2007 really going to make a difference.. oh wait

I may be in the minority but i'm real glad we didn't pay $25 million for a rb that as about to turn 30 and head downhill in his career, and the 1 td in 2007 shows that.

tj was like a-train and james allen before him, Decent, functional Rb's that had 1-2 good season's behind a very good line,but had some bad habits and fustrating runnign styles. Tj refused contact, running out of bounds instead of fighting for yards, tj absolutely horrid on third and short plays eitehr dancing or getting stopped short, killing drives. Just because Benson turned out a bust, doesn't mean we now need to "cannonize" Tj as a great Rb, becuase he wasn't.

And sorry Tj, was no neil anderson- who actually WAS the most reliable back after walter payton


When Thomas Jones was traded, I had a friend tell me that day that "now Benson can shine and the offense will thrive." I told him he was full of s***, and low and behold I was right. I think there is only one player in the 2005 Draft that would have been a bigger mistake than Benson, and that is none other than Pacman Jones.

Personally, I want to see how the offense plays out now, as I think we all do. I know we're all experts on what the Bears should do, so here's my theory:

Sign either Kevin Jones or Shaun Alexander (preferrably Jones since he's younger and Alexander seems to have lost it) and have one of them be the starting back week 1, giving them about 60% of the carries and Matt Forte the other 40%. Also, don't forget about Garrett Wolfe, who I believe could be a threat on 3rd down and a good 'change of pace' back with his speed. As the season goes on, if Forte progresses like most think he will, start to give him more carries (much like the Vikes did with AP and Taylor last year). Living in MN I saw first hand that it does work and that the Bears miss having a good dual-back combo like they did a couple years ago when Benson wasn't a total pile.

I think if the O-line can turn itself around and be productive again, that is still the key, no matter who is running the ball. Then, if we can run the ball well, that takes the pressure off Grossman (or Orton..) and should, keyword should, give them more time to find recievers or tight ends downfield. Greg Olsen needs to be more of a factor in the offense this year. Him and Clark could be the best tight end combo in the NFL..anybody else agree with that?

I still think 9-7 is possible this season since we still have a solid defense and we do have Devin Hester. If the offense can just manage the game, eat up some time of possession, and score 14-20 points a game we'll be in fine shape.


From what I read, many people are "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" right now. I don't have to. I was a big fan of Thomas Jones and was against the trade from the beginning. I was against missing out in Mendenhal(especially when he started falling). I told a friend the day of the draft that Mendenhal would rush for more yards than this fraud. I may be proven right again. Benson is the trifecta.....No heart, horrible decision making, and to top it off, zero accomplishments on the field. This is THEE worst draft pick the Bears have ever made, and this(along with Wrecks) will define Jerry Angelo's administration.

When I read that Metcalf was going to be the starting left guard, I cringed. I couldnt believe it. I taped a lot of the Bear games with him at guard. I have never seen an offensive lineman get overpowered like Metcalf. Defences will tear the Bears apart with him at guard.

the mccaskeys destroy the bears!

first of all, the bears were gonna suck next year no matter what. benson, forte, peterson, wolfe, some random free agent, all were gonna suck in the bears pitiful offense. and please don't go talking about trading for some horrendous back like lamont jordan either...

second, who are the bears trying to kid with all these "character concerns???" urlacher, briggs, dvoracek, lloyd, kreutz, hell even the dt they drafted (harrison) all have questionable characters at best. the bottom line is they didn't think cedric was irreplacable. now, he's gonna sign with another team and tear it up. i will think it's really funny if he winds up with the lions or packers and tears the bears up twice a year.

why would the bears not hold onto ced, let the texas courts and then the league decide what should be done and go from there. even the titans were smart enough to hold onto pacman until they got a draft pick for him. and he wasn't the 4TH OVERALL PICK IN THE DRAFT!!!!!!!!!

another bad move by a classless and clueless organization!

i hope the mccaskeys enjoy the $800,000 they saved (probably the only reason they did this!)

as a lifelong bears fan whose heart has been broken too many times, please sell the team to a group who cares about the diehard people of chicago who deserve a winner!!!

"If the offense can just manage the game, eat up some time of possession, and score 14-20 points a game we'll be in fine shape."

14-20 points?? What, every 4-game span?

Linus, you must be smoking something....

To even mention Thomas Jones in the same breath as the great Walter Payton, God bless his soul.... You have got to be just follong around right ?????????

Neil Anderson was more productive and reliable RB then Thomas "twinkle toe Jones", don't forget his (2)trade demands, his OTA hold out and his phantom hammy injury while warming up for his pre-camp physical in 2006 as showing leadership otherwise you would be confusing him with Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher....

TJ was a good player for us but not great, Angelo gave him a shot that nobody else was willing to do and in doing so he revived his career even though he did stink it up even worse with the J.E.T.S. Jets then the Bum Benson did in thhis past season. TJ wasn't even close to what Payton or even Anderson gave us during their time here.

The facts are that Benson showed enough promise with his 4.2 YPC average to warrant Angelo trading the now 30 year old Jones, you must remember that TJ wanted out the day Benson was drafted and he and Angelo agreed a year later after Jones's second trade demand that after the 2006 season, Jerry would honor his wish and Angelo did just that. It was as much a buisness decision as it was a way to help out a player who was not happy in the situation. Angelo didn't have to trade Jones, he was still under contract but if Angelo went back on his word then TJ would surely have held out in 2007 and we would have had even more distractions then we suffered through last year...... besides, TJ didn't like competition just as much as Cedric didn't. TJ moaned with every team he played for and perhaps another bad season with the Jets will get him pissing and moaning their to....

GO Bears, Go Matt Forte....

I really think what this represents is the problem with the rookie money. These guys need to prove they want to be and deserve the kind of money they are making.
Plus I dont think its fair to blame all this on Angelo, first he did not draft Enis, Salaam or Mcknown. Columbo was injured. Haynes was not as advertised. I think the Schools where these played Texas, for Benson and Penn State for Haynes are also accountable- What did those coaches not know there players or is getting a high draft pick good for the schools recruiting? Anyway I believe it comes to throwing millions at kids who havent done it yet.

The sad fact is, none of the top 3 RB's from the 2005 Draft have panned out.

Benson had too many Mental Issues
Cadillac can't stay healthy
Brown's an enigma

Compare to the other top:
Mike Williams(we still got more out of Benson than this clown)
Braylon Edwards(Performed decently last year, still very little actual production)

Alex Smith: Zip

The reason we picked up Benson was because TJ couldn't even power an offense tailored towards him(Speed/RB dump Passes).

Like a bad habit it is good to see Cedric go. The team will be better. As for the offense, why not give them a chance before bloggers decided they will be the worst in the league.

Who knows maybe the offense will surprise and be in the top 15 in the league, the defense will be #1, special teams #1, the bears will lead the league in takeaways, have positive TOP, finish 11-5, beat the Pack and Lions twice and split with the Vikes, win the deivision and go to the SuperBowl. The Bears win the Superbolw because great defenses win championships.

Go Bears and for those that have been drinking too much Hate-er-aide, try another drink.

Yes, the Bears should find a proven NFL back to help the rookie Forte and provide insurance for the running game. I think Lamont, Alexander or JOnes would be OK to assist, maybe one of them would have the old motivation back if they joined the BEARS.

Benson got the 2nd DWI intentionally to get out of Chicago and get a new start. After the boating incident one would really have to be stupid to get a second DWI



i really don't think the bears will go out and get another back. history shows that a rookie running back can come in and do a good job, even an undrafted free agent rookie, just look at ryan grant and ahmad bradshaw. i think a forte will be fine next season. seriously if the guy can cut back and hit a hole he'll be fine. the line did make a few pretty big holes last season but benson didn't hit them, being tackled by that invisible hand a lot.

as for keeping thomas jones.........
i don't know
you gotta love thomas jones, he plays hard, plays hurt, he's a great teammate, but lets face it he's just a journeyman back. he doesn't do anything really special on the field, he's slow but shifty, and he's kind of over the hill as a running back. at best thomas jones is a really solid running back, not great or not bad. thomas jones is a lot like stump mitchell, stump who??? i bet you're thinking, my point exactly. nobody remember stump mitchell although he was a pretty soild back for the cardinals in the 80s. the nfl will always have journeyman backs and they'll never be remembered because they lack the skill set to be great, like it or not thomas jones is in that boat.

benson could have been great and that's why he's such a big disappointment the bears banks on his skills over thomas jones. in hindsight it was a mistake but at the time you could see where they were coming from. an aging journeyman back who wants more money or a 1st round draft pick with a lot of upside? i think it was the right move. they gambled and lost, but hey that happens sometimes. i'm glad we can move past this benson crap and see what forte will do.

Joe; sorry man, but they need to go out and get a back, we have questions all over the offense right now, putting all the eggs in Forte's basket is not a wise move, yes he could turn into something big, but we must make certain we have someone who is proven in the backfield since we are going to have a re-built offesive line, a QB battle, along with new wide receiver corps. I am a bit skeptical that we can be a cohesive unit with a rookie carrying all the weight of the ground game at this point. Looks like Alexander of Kevin Jones to me, I know if I were their agent I'd be calling the BEARS right now....

As for Cedric, I hope he gets another chance, but he sure has pissed me off, did all that talking like a WWF wrestler and this is what we got to show for it!

Shaun Alexander? Kevin Jones? Don't you think there's a reason why none of the other 31 teams have picked these guys up???

Alexander was only good at running the ball. Now he can't even do that right. And you want to bring him in for what?

Probably the best FA RB out there is Benson at this point! We'll see what Forte has got. AP is nothing special at RB but he is a solid player who can catch, block and knows the offense through and through so it's not like we need another RB or else. Besides, the most important thing for the Bears at this moment is getting the O-line up and running.

Mike: Yes, I know a reason its $$$$$$, as for the Bears we tried your recommendation last year with the only difference being Forte for Benson, even with Forte the team knew it needed two backs...So again these people I mentioned are not going to be the back for the next ten years, but unless you can share with me someone who might get cut in training camp who is better, I'd say sign em up and see what they can do!!

O-line also is critical, but right now the Bears offense looks like the parts you take out of one of those IKEA cabinets you have to put together piece by piece and in the end you hope you got something that works!!

Good riddance, is all I got to say about Benson. But Im still not gonna jump all over Angelo for drafting him. If I could go back in time to april 2005, and NOT know what we all know now about Benson, I'd still want the Bears to draft Benson. Heck, who would of known Benson would turn out the way he did? The entertainer from Austin was one of only a hand full of college backs that rushed for a 1000 yds all four seasons, from freshman to senior. Cedric Benson is a prime example of why the NFL needs a rookie salary cap. Way to many of these rookies are getting paid to much, and never amounting to anything. Then you have veteran players who are produceing on the field, but are makeing less, this is not fair. A rookie salary cap would make these rookies earn their pay, which is the way it should be. In a nutshell, the Bears not only wasted money, but three seasons of the coaching staff, the other Bear players, and MOST importantly, US, the fans, time. I think in the end, it was Bensons play that ended his career, the off the field stuff gave Angelo the excuse to now start the Matt Forte era GO BEARS!!

na na na na, hey hey hey, Goodbye! Cedric was nothing more than an aneurism causing severe headaches to the fans.


A rookie salary cap would work wonders in making the rookies earn their right to be a NFL player. Some of these kids coming out of college can't deal with thousands of dollars let alone millions.

Cedric appears to be one of those who's only goal was to be a top draft pick and collect his money. Once he arrived in the NFL as a BEAR his work ethic and desire to be the best NFL back he could be simply was not there, it had to be the money.

We shoulda kept Ced for another year, as the RB's we have are not worth crap - (and what rounds did we draft them btw)
Now it's Forte/Peterson/Wolf??? GREAT!! Oh Yeah, put fear into the Vikes D now huh?
Ok, Why did we draft Benson? when we had a decent back already???
wasted pick again.
I am not saying I love Ced just we need someone, anyone! to pair with Forte. maybe Jones?
I like Forte but jeez, maybe give him a year paired up first.

i agree with you chitownbear, the bears probably need a proven back but it's like you said the $$$$. i don't think the bears will pick up shaun alexander because he's got the same turf monster issue as cedric benson. kevin jones has been good at times but he's been injured a lot. lamont jordan would be nice but jerry angelo doesn't like to give up draft picks that often. so i think the bears will stick with what they've got, even though having a proven guy would be nice.

i'm not too worried about the offensive line, which is crazy i know. i think the starters will look like this
LT williams
LG st. clair
C krutez
RG garza
RT tait
I know a lot of guys don't think st. clair will start at left guard because of his flexibility and the reports too but if he were to start st. clair could easily move to replace an injured guy and beekman or whomever could fill his position. i think st. clair will start because he's probably the best left guard on the team at the moment.

our line sucked last year but the blame wasn't entirely theirs how many times did benson do that funny hop, skip and fall (you know what i mean?)or how many times did benson not see the hole and instead of cutting back and hitting it, he just run into the defense? i'm not blaming benson entirely but what if he actually didn't fall on contact or actually cut and ran up field? he might have had a different season. he did do it a couple of times, once against the seahawks for a td and once against the broncos to get injured, both big runs.

i think if we have the line that i mentioned and forte starting we should have an improved running attack. i think our offense will be average but with a healthy defense we will without a doubt surpass the espn prediction of a 5 win season. believe me i take what espn has to say with a grain of salt, not a very creditable bunch when it comes to analysis

I still think it was best for the franchise to unload Benson. Maybe, and a BIG maybe, Angelo could of let the boating incident fly, but yet another run in with the law, and just a couple weeks later...yeah?? Not only the off the field stuff, but Bensons play left something to be desired. And guy's, do you really think Benson would have helped Matt Forte, the player brought in to replace him? Forte was on his own from draft day, at least now there won't be any kind of running back controversy, we have enough of them right now, namely at QB. I think Forte will be fine, and running back is one of the easier positions to go from college to the pros. I actually think the Bears will be better off with Forte & Wolfe, rather than Benson. At least with Wolfe, there will be some kind of change up. With Benson, there's not much brought to the table, you pretty well know the Bears are gonna run, because of his lack of ability to catch & block. I think Wolfe offers more options, and more of a scat back runner type to change things up. Its better for a complementary back to have a different running stlye, hence the term change of pace back. A lot of fans don't like Wolfe, and bring up his low rushing average during his rookie season. First off, it was his rookie season, so cut the guy a break, and secondly, I don't know if a lot of you guy's noticed, but all of our backs had a hard time running behind our line last season. Its easy to criticize Wolfe because of his size, 5-7 180lbs. I think with a year in an NFL gym, and better knowledge of the playbook, and Wolfe will be fine. Also, Angelo brought Wolfe in for the sole purpose to complement the starter, and used a 3rd rounder to do so. Plus, the fact that Wolfe is listed at 180lbs, and was 170lbs last season, shows he got bigger, so he should be stronger. I think the Bears will be just fine with Forte & Wolfe GO BEARS!!

Please stop whining about Thomas Jones... he is gone, and should have be... 20-20 hindsite is a wonderful thing but it's not reality... I also disagree and the ownership should NOT be speaking out... that is what they pay these guys to do... we do NOT want an Al Davis here... geez... ignorance is bliss and you guys are over the top...

Hey Angelo can I have 2.5 mil this year and next to not play for you guys. Hahahaha, I know it's not a lot of money for the organization too loose but think of all the good that money could do instead of giving it to some selfish lazy clown who basically stole it cause he sure didn't earn it.

This guy will get 2.5 mil for doing nothing mean time this year toys for tots will not be getting 2.5 mil from Cedric. Now the only reason I point this out is because it's wasted money that is going to an A hole who does not deserve it. Drives me nuts just throwing away millions like it was nothing while little kids are starving on the streets. If he had an once of class at all Benson would donate the money to charity, he's already rich he don't need it.

Randy you are forgetting one think, the league. If Benson is convicted he will get suspended, if he is convited twice he will get hammered, if it happens again Goodell will come to his house and eat his lunch. 2 times in five weeks he gets arrested for the same thing what are the Bears supposed to do. The Bears have been very good to Benson, he in turn has treated the team, the city and the organization like garbage, he has no respect for the team, himself or anyone else for that matter and I have no respect for him. He has now been arrested 4 times in 5 years and let me point this out to you, lets say he was drunk, do you get why that is a big deal? Do you know how many people are killed by drunk drivers every year, do you understand why this really PO'S teams? Let me put to you this way, you can do what you want with your own life but when you drive drunk you are threatening to kill innocent people just cause you can't control yourself. Explaining to a family and the media thay your trouble making player killed there family and you don't want to cut him cause you need more than Forte in the backfield is not gonna fly. Drunk drivers are scum.

Dan, you're an idiot to say "we don't want Al Davis here", since the 60's, the guy has helped put the Raiders in the SB every decade which is unmatched in the NFL. Granted, some of his recent signing appear out of line, but you can't argue with his genius.

Thumbs up for Angelo. I had high hopes for Benson when he came into the NFL. He was a highly toated prospect coming out of Texas.
Thomas Jones didnt even reach the 1,000 yard mark in 2005. Turners offense calls for a switch up back. One to off set the primary backs talent.Jones, a cut back. Benson a north south back.
Now it is time to find a back to off set Forte's style of running. Not sure if Wolfe could compliment Forte in a way to off set each other. A.P. has showen in the past he can be a complimentry back, but not a change of pace back.

I still stand behind my statement in that Forte is in the possition to lead all rookie running backs in rushing. Who knows maybe Forte is what the Bears have been looking for in the past how many years....?

brando you might be right about forte leading all rookies in yards, i think it's his to lose. darren mcfadden might edge him out but it depends on how much time he gets. if he can be a home run hitter in the nfl he's sure to get it even with limited carries but for the sake of this, lets say he doesn't.

mendenhall will probably be a bettis type back to compliment willie parkers. a lot of tds maybe but not a lot of yards.

jonathan stewart will also be splitting time in carolina with deangelo williams. he doesn't have a 2nd gear and with limited carries he probably won't get it either.

chris johnson, not an every down back but a home run hitter so how knows i doubt it though, he's not very tough. limited carries due to splitting time with lendale white.

felix jones, you know marion barber will get the bulk in dallas so probably not.

ray rice? nope they have mcgahee

i think the only other guy how might come close is kevin smith in detriot. smith, like forte, will be the starter and get the bulk of the load. i don't think smith will get it because the lions offensive line will actually suck, not even lions fans can dispute that. our offensive line problems can swing either way but the lions, they just actually suck. before they even step on the field they suck.

with my magic eight ball i'm thinking forte will go for about 1312 yards on 320 carries with a 4.1 per and 7 touchdowns and maybe 20 receptions for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns. well 1568 all purpose yards and 11 touchdowns... sounds like a probowl season..... maybe i need to get a new magic eight ball? all kidding aside he might be able to do it. if he is the feature back and if we "come of the bus running" like lovie says.

Creighton, I know what you mean regarding Angelo and Lovie, but the Bears (players) have not been very good to Benson. Almost everyone on the defense was taking shots at Benson with the intention to injure him during '05 and '06. Sure Benson is cocky and says stupid things, but this was an overall dumb and equally immature act by those players. They all wanted Jones to start and practically the whole team alienated him for that end. What a great work environment. I know I'd love to play for a team like that! Stupidity on both sides.

So where was Lovie Hussein Smith during all of this? Listening to Smooth Jazz, as always, on his headset? Isn't it Lifesupport Lovie's job to manage the lockeroom?


Good point. But Forte will only have a chance to lead rookies in rushing IF Chris Williams is good. I'm glad they used their high pick on an OL for once. OL have statistically been a stable choice measured by how many games they started in the league. 75% start 25 games or more in the first 3 years. So you figure that 1st round karma is on the Bear's side, and Williams will turn out to be a tough, reliable, and durable LT. If he turns out to be great then BEars truly have something special.

But best case scenario for Bears remains health of defense. It would be awesome if, for once, the Bears defense lost less than 10 starts due to injury. They are really good when they are all healthy. Scary good when Mike Brown completes the defense. They have 6 potential pro bowlers on defense. The locks are (if all stayed healthy) Urlacher, Harris, Briggs, and Brown. They would all make impact plays all year. This would allow others to flourish, and 2 of them would make the pro bowl (Vasher, Tillman, A. Brown, Ogunleye, or Anderson).

We will all see what they can do first game of the year @ COLTS. They will presumably all be healthy, and stout at the line of scrimmage. They are extremely deep at all positions on defense right now. So a minor injury "here or there" to a starter can be covered up nicely temporarly.

But I do believe in Matt Forte. He can do it with a strong team around him. And the BEars are a strong team with one weakness when healthy..... The QB position. That is why I can't see them going better than 10-6 at the best case scenario unless "A" QB emerges that can actually play the position.


NO one could be serious about not needing another RB. JOnes, Jordan, or a trade has to be better that our back-ups.

I can't remember which political leader/philosopher/great mind it was who said something like "a man should not be judged by his accomplishments but in how he deals with his mistakes".
I may be a little removed, being a UK fan, but i know in every sport here, we prefer it when our owners/chairmen/CEOs etc stay out of the headlines and just do their jobs bean-counting and getting on with the back office stuff they should be doing. The Players/coaching personnel are paid to deal with this stuff and I feel that the way the NFL works, it suits that Jerry and Lovie are left to deal with any backlash.
I think that Angelo's comments yesterday were very fitting for himself AND Benson. He talked about everyone being accountable, everyone making mistakes, everyone learning and everyone realising that the Chicago Bears as a "footballing family" comes above everything else. However much this was aimed at Benson and in informing the press as to why he'd done an about face, it was also a point from him saying "I'm sorry, i've made a cock up in drafting this kid but enough is enough... I cannot condone him any more."
It's the easiest thing to make a mistake, its not as easy to deal with the fall out of it, especially when we're talking about a 4th overall pick and as many million dollars as Benson held out for.
I thank the McCaskeys' for staying behing the curtain, and letting the GM do his job, deal with his errors and making right.
Lets have faith that there are minimal mistakes from here on in and that everyone is wiser for the events stemming from the draft of 05...

Dude nobody was trying to hurt Benson, Benson was doing what he always does and complaining that he thought people were trying to hurt him because they were hitting him. If you ever played football you know you can hurt someone real easy anytime you step on the field.

All Benson ever did from day one is complain and that is way players didn't like him. He didn't want to earn the RB job he wanted it handed to him. He himself said why are you going to draft me 4th and not make me the number one guy. He was so stupid it never occured to him to earn the job. He complained that the line wouldn't block for him, he claimed the coaches wouldn't support him, he bitched and moaned his entire time here. You never heared him say I messed up or that one was on me, no it was always someone elses fault.

Coaches didn't support him?? They gave him the number one job without him earning it. Team didn't supporty him?? A bunch of players came out and stood up for him when the boating inncident occured. He's a pampered spoiled brat that needs his @$$ kicked. Have you ever looked at Bensons college photos, never once sense he has been with the Bears has looked that good, never once has been close to being in the shape he was in college. But does he blame himself? No he blames food allergies. Allergies he didn't seem to have in college before he got payed. The only thing he is allergic to his hard work.

haha! good point creighton
i heard on the score yesterday that some guys were trying to hurt benson because of the thomas jones situation, i think it was on bors and bernstien. they also played a clip of jay glazer saying that the bears locker room hated benson. maybe they did't like his food allergies?

i noticed an odd stat about benson that might be good news for matt forte. in a lot of games benson averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry on his first 10 carries. we all know he was awful after that but it is interesting though. if he could do that with the horrible line we had last year i'm positive forte well be able to match that this year. forte should be able to do that,he should get enough carries because he's a 3 down back (or so they say). forte's ball control worries me a bit but that can be easily fixed.

i also think williams might be stronger than people think. it's harder for guys with long arms to bench so that might be it. he only allowed a few sacks in the sec, so i'll take that over any combine numbers, well execpt his measurements. he's used to speed. i know the chicago tribune, which i wouldn't wip my butt with, had a story about his arms being "short" but nfl average is 33 15/16 williams was measured at 33 1/2 at the nfl combine. sounds like the trib guys got board and tried to gin up a story if you ask me.


First of all, Benson's lack of productivity was the result of poor blocking and predictable play calling. The oldest line in league (thanks Jerry!) was incapable of playing with power or mobility, and Turner enjoyed telegraphing run plays to every defensive player, coach/coordinator and spectator.

Adrian Peterson averaged 3.3 ypc and Garrett Wolfe averaged 2.7 ypc. The team ranked 30th in ypc (rough stats). A team is only THIS bad at running when their line is bad at blocking.

I honestly can not understand how/why bloggers on this site actually believe that a "soft" rookie pass-protecting LT and rookie running back are going to solve the problems with the run game, especially after cutting the two blockers (Brown/Miller) that keyed the running game in '06.

Talk about poor decisions and immaturity...Lance Briggs CRASHED HIS CAR on the expressway and the FLED the scene of the accident. I guess this incident didn't place anyone in danger... Not only did he benefit by avoiding any police interractions, but he recieved a long-term contract from Angelo. I don't even want to start talking about Brigg's and Urlacher's drama with (multiple) baby's mommas.

I guess the decision to select glow-stick swinging, ecstasy-user Marcus Harrison makes a lot of sense.

And don't forget that Tank Johnson spent TWO MONTHS serving a jail sentence before he got pulled over in Arizona.

Why not fine Benson or suspend him for a few games. It is disgracefull that the same guy touting "team" values would turn his back on player with an obvious drinking problem. The guy wasn't conviced and hadn't even gone to court yet. It shows tremendous weakness to allow personnel decision to made by law enforcement officers...they make mistakes and have quotas to fill.

It sure seems like Forte will be handed the starting job without having to "earn" it?

I don't see how this makes our team better in any way.

Give me a break. Time to start scouting a new target to hate. Good luck.

I am not a scout for the NFL, NCAA, High School, Grade School, or Pee Wee Football.
What I have seen from Forte up to this point, is a passion for the game. We all know that injurys happen. If healthy for all 16 games, I can see Forte being the best rookie back for the Chicago Bears sence A-Train. He has the talent to be better then Neil Anderson. Lets hope that he is.

One thing that I love about Forte is that it seems he DOES NOT take plays off. He go's at it 100% every play.The Bears A.P. has the same mantality. If the Bears do pick up a 4th back so be it. If they dont, I do beleive that A.P. will be a good enough back to get the job done.

Projected numbers for Forte if healthy for atleast 15 games:

1,246 yards
around 300 Car.
making that around 4.1 yards/Car. or more
7 rushing TDs
66 yards longest run

42 Rec.
389 yards
9.26 yards a catch
5 TDs
41 yards longest catch

6 pancake blocks

I dont think these are dreaming numbers, they are realist numbers.

The Bears realy need to get around 2000+ rushing yards to dominate the regular season. I dont see that. It would take a host of events to happen for the Bears as a team to acomplish that feat. If it does happen, one of the RBs is going to have a Pro Bowl Year.

i think the line and running game should be significantly improved. williams will be an improvement over tait for a few reasons: 1st he has a lateral quickness that tait doesn't have and 2nd natural left tackle. here is what had to say about his college stats.

"Williams has registered 181 knockdowns with 21 touchdown-resulting blocks while averaging 84.9% blocking consistency over the last two seasons as the team's full-time starter at left tackle...Allowed just two quarterback sacks over a span of 1,558 offensive snaps...In 2007, he became the first Vanderbilt offensive lineman to earn All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors from the league's coaches since 1984 (Will Wolford)."

his demeanor may seem soft but his play proves otherwise, just look at the tape. i remember a running back with a similar demeanor, barry sanders. williams play on the field proves his a stud. rookie left tackles can also make an immediate impact, just look at tony ugoh and marcus mcneil. both of them were second rounders and williams had a better college game than both.

fed miller was awful last year, a tackling dummy would have been more mobile than him. tait will be back at his natural position at right tackle. how is that not an instant improvement?

ruben brown played with one hand all season. i'm with creighton in the belief that st. clair will start at left guard. he's the best we have at the moment and will probably start. he's a solid guard. you can't watch a bears game last year and say "st. clair really screwed that up". he's consistent and will be an improvement over brown.

kreutz should be good this season because of a better supporting cast. i don't like garza but the same should be true for him as well.

any way you want to look at it the line will be improved and therefore the running game should be improved as well. benson doesn't deserve the entire blame, the offensive line and ron turner deserve some, but benson inability to actually hit the holes when they were there, well that's benson fault. benson's two big runs last year were a result of him seeing an opening and hitting it. if you watch any of the games you will see that they were there all season.

to compare benson's stats with peterson's and wolfe's is misleading. peterson isn't even a second string back in the nfl. he's got more heart than anybody but that doesn't make you good, a fan favorite but not good. wolfe is a situational 3rd down back. running up the middle isn't his strength. wolfe works best in the flat. you can see that if you look at how he was used towards the end of the season.

if forte can pass block, catch the ball, and hit holes better then benson, than he's an improvement. how can the bears not be improved over last season? the line will be better and the back. it's not like they set the bar very high last year.

Hey Jr.

Does daddy know that you are talking bad about him? It is not about hate it is about reality and Benson is a complete bust, maybe just maybe the Bears will start being more serious about the Tank's, Briggs actions etc. this is a good point and I hope they do.

But for Benson he needed to go for the teams benefit. The other players you mention although acted poorly in many cases when it came to performing on the field for the team and the fans they performed and still do.

Is that right keeping the other players and drafting a player of questionalbe character? Ask your daddy JA.

i totally agree brando, i think forte can easily hit that mark.
an absolutely realistic assessment

i think benson was spoiled at texas. we all know how crazy the entire state of texas is about football. you know benson was treated like a god at texas and he sure acted like he had that same since of entitlement when he came to chicago.

tulane isn't a football school. i mean sure they have a program but it isn't anything like the big schools in texas. i don't think tulane or the students of tulane treat their football players the same. so i don't think matt forte develop such a big head.

it's not like benson's character problems came out of no where, almost every scouting report on him listed that as a negative. benson was considering to be a top 5 pick, like it or not that's true. his talent was so great that it over shadowed any thoughts about his character. nowadays those kind of guys slip but that wasn't the case in 05. you have to remember that was before all the pac-man, chris henry, and tank issues.

according to scouting reports forte doesn't seem to have those problems. if forte really does have our adrian peterson's drive than we have a rookie of the year in chicago. the only thing forte lacks us a second gear but if you look not too many back this year had it. only mcfadden, chris johnson, and felix jones have that second gear. mendenhall and stewart don't have it. johnson and jones aren't 3 down backs and mcfadden is questionable as one.

forte easily has the skills to be a good back and if he's desire is there too, then i don't see why he can't at least run for 1200 yards. his in the best position to do so

Dan who wants to get booked and fingerprinted by the police to get out of Chicago? Who wants to be arrested, and have a court date, a possible criminal conviction of a felony to get out of playing football in Chicago? Ced?...if that's the case, he's stupider than I have ever imagined, about as stupid as your assessment of this situation.

He made a mistake and didn't care, in fact, he made 2 mistakes and didn't care. I will not be a fair weather person, I just wanted the Bears to get the best player in 05'. I still could live with Benson, TJ was a soft joke. Ced is a headcase though, and the last arrest led Jerry A to drop him. Glad he did, and now it's time to move on. All the other posts on this blog are just speculation, and a lot of non football players hatin'. You can't predict a player's stats before the season even starts.

In fact, you'd be lucky if the player played all 16 games, so how can you predict a season's stats. Let's get back to reality least until the preseason starts and we here about how great Forte, Beekman, Oakley, Metcalf, Williams, and whoever is.


Good post. The Sunday article in the Sun Times supports the Benson was lazy theory as noted by another first rounder on the team that did not make it very far Haynes.

He also acknoledges that the team really did not support Cedric because of his poor work ethic while the rest of the team was busting ARS.

JA Jr. It was not the O-lines fault for Benson's lack of production, Benson was simply a fat slug last year, overweight, out of shape out of breath etc. The o-line gave him some holes that he did not hit and he would constantly take a header because of running with his head down.

Joe, I agree the running game will be better and the o-line will be a positive surprise in the ressurection of the running game. Forte will be the best rookie running back in the NFL.

I say Forte will have around 1,100 yards rushing with 300 yards receiving and a total of 9 TD's. The Bears offense finishes in the top 15 in total yards,TOP and points scored, with sacks reduced from last year.

Deep Thoughts by Brando Timm

2002 Wasnt Clinton Portis drafted in the second round in? Yeah he was.He can run the rock, catch the rock and block for the QB. Yeah he can. Forte can do all of those things. Portis doesnt have blazing speed or a second gear. Neither does Matt. Forte will be just fine.

Dahli I agree the offensive line should be better and Metcalf should be looked at on the other side before being cut Garza kinda unerves me he didn't move anyone last season and looks like he is running in sand. In my opinion both guards were a weakness last season. I hope Lovie also has competion for all positions including OL.

Benson? Benson who? Wait... wasn't that a tv show about a butler?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 9, 2008 9:50 PM.

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