Blog Entry

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 12:38 pm
Cedric Benson hasn't yet been suspended. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cedric Benson is reportedly facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's player-conduct policy during the lockout. But when the Bengals face the Bills this weekend, Benson will be on the field.

"I'm playing," he said according to the Bengals' official Twitter feed. And head coach Marvin Lewis confirms it

While there hasn't been an announcement from the NFL regarding Benson's suspension, he met with the league Tuesday as part of his appeal hearing. An explanation of the process from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello (sent to PFT Wednesday morning) sheds some light on the process.

“A player is not suspended until he has had an opportunity to file an appeal and for that appeal to be heard and adjudicated,” Aiello said via email.

There doesn't appear to be a timetable on when a ruling will come, either. The biggest issue is that Benson, who is apart of the NFL Players Association, was unaware that the NFLPA and the NFL had agreed to punish some of the players who had violated the league's conduct policy during the lockout. In fact, Benson last week filed a charge of unfair labor practice against the NFLPA. colleague Josh Katzowitz wrote Sunday, "Benson is arguing to the National Labor Relations Board that the NFLPA wasn’t a union during the lockout -- the NFL and a group of retired players all have made the same claim in various lawsuits because, in fact, the NFLPA decertified before the lockout began and took great pains to announce that it no longer was a union -- and Benson also says that he wasn’t an employee of any team during the lockout. Benson reasons that he shouldn't be suspended for actions that occurred when he wasn't an employee of the NFL or of the Bengals."

Benson isn't alone. Teammate Andrew Whitworth agrees.

"The union let those eight guys down,” Whitworth said, via Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner. “I don’t feel like that was fair. To me, if I was told that was a make or break, I would've said that’s a make or break deal that we were going to sell out eight guys to have an agreement."

As's Mike Florio pointed out Wednesday, "The biggest question seems to be whether the NFL has the power to impose discipline against players for off-field conduct occurring during the lockout. In Benson’s case, the situation is complicated by the fact that he wasn’t even employed by an NFL team, since his prior contract with the Bengals had expired."

Who knows how long it will take to sort this out, bur for now, Benson will keep playing.

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Since: Sep 21, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2011 4:08 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

I pretty much agree, BUT...... Let's say I am a firefighter, or a police officer, or a electrician (all jobs that drug test their employees).  Than let's say that they shut down shop for a couple months for whatever reason and while I am NOT employed I partake in smoking some marijuana.  Than the business begans again and I get tested and I test postive.  Can I use that same arguement that I wasn't an employee at the time of use?  Just wondering.

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 4:03 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

I believe Benson has presented a valid argument.  Unless you are going to say that the union decertification was a sham. 

Tressel and Pryor are different situations.  I agree with  you Pryor should not have been allowed to enter the supplemental draft.  While it will not be stated publically, Pryor's suspension is a trade-off to allow him to play this year.  Had he not be eligible for the supplemental draft he would not play anywhere this year.  This would be much like Wesley Saunders (now with Pitt) and the UNC players that were suspended and missed the entire 2010 NCAA season. 

If I remember correctly the NFL did not suspend Tressel.  The Colts did. We all know the NFL talked with the Colts and did not want to be put in the position to deal with a management, non-union individual from the same NCAA institution, not in the NCAA for the exact same reason as a player you suspended.  Tressel cannot appeal his suspension.  He of course could seek employment with another team. 

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:46 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Very valid point! "The NFL and associated clubs are a BUSINESS". However, they closed up shop and separated from players. They can't have it both ways. They will have no recourse for all these off season incidents when all is said and done. Do I agree? Maybe not but it matters not what you or I feel. Players union will eat this up in court if need be. It's our wonderful judicial system of the USA at work here. Players Union attorneys should have taken care of all these incidents in cba that was finally agreed upon. And I highly doubt he is a drain on society as you put it. You seem angry about all this like Benson did something personal to you. 

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:43 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Yes, the NFL is a business. However, in business, if a union contract exists, that agreement covers situations such as drug testing. A company cannot unilaterally drug test employees covered under a contract without the union agreeing to it. Tressel is in management and not covered by an agreement, so the league is free to do what they please vis-a-vis him.

The question for all of these people is whether an employer can suspend and withhold pay for actions taken when those persons were NOT employees. Pryor is introuble for violating rules of another entity. Benson violated rules of the league, but technically was not a league employee at the time. He was not allowed to be on company property, use company facilities or personnel, or represent himself as an NFL player. So, the legal question is how can the union and the league agree to take action against someone for something that occurred when that person did not belong to the union nor was employed by the league?

imagine you were unemployed, got a DUI, was hired a month later, then your employer suspended you without pay for getting the DUI. Would you consider that lawful?

Since: Jun 21, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:22 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Ding-Dong, You're ignorant. Stfu before you hurt yourself...

The NFL and associated clubs are a BUSINESS... If your job drug tests, and you are positive, you are suspended (if your job is of any importance) and you are tested again after a short period to make sure you STILL aren't doing things. If you MURDER someone, you are going to be out of work. Especially in NY state where it is an at-will state, they will just can you and skip the questions.

Again, the NFL and the clubs in the NFL are businesses. They all adhere to rules of a BUSINESS. Hence why there is even a stupid union to begin with in the NFL. What NFL players do affect the BUSINESS. I have no problem what so ever with people being suspended and or out of football...

The NFL isn't a separate world you ignorant f***s... It's a business, it's reality. You still have to act like a functioning human being, not a drain on society. Grow the F*** up.

Since: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:07 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

so your saying tressel and pryor are employees of the NFL and benson was not? pryor was a free agent and tressel wasn't even hired yet, i think the NFL has no right to suspend players for what they do in there own personal lives or off the field for that matter!!!!

Since: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:02 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

@beerthug, i agree with you!!!!! tressel shouldn't be suspended or pryor!!!! they weren't in the NFL!!!! this is terrible, i like the fact that goodell is trying to clean up the NFL but he gets a little to carried away if you ask me!!!!! during the season i think he has every right to suspend players that screw up or break the law, but during the offseason he think he has absolutely no right to suspend players!!!! i know everyone says role models and stuff like that but they are human beings and we make mistakes!!!! i think what the players do in there private lives is nobody's business but there's!!!!!!!  if benson wants to go to bar's and fight in the summer months then let the police deal with it, not goodell!!!!  that would be like me going out after work and getting in a bar fight and my place of employment suspending me for it!!!! what right does he have to suspend players for getting into trouble in ther own personal lifes? i think none, during the season they are fair game but as soon as the season is over they can do what they want, let the LAW deal with them!!!!!

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:56 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Those are two completely different cases/scenarios:  in one you have people that WERE a part of an organization (ncaa) that feeds or leads to the NFL and, thus, the NFL DOES have reason and rights to apply rules and regulations.  

In Benson's case, he was not a part of ANY organization when he did whatever he did.  One car argue that with Benson's previous issues w/ the law, he is an idiot for putting himself in harm's way.  If, however, this is a case where some moron attacked a celebrity then that's altogether different, too.

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:50 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

Wow Benson might actually do something positive for the league. If his appeal succeeds, so should Pryor and Tressel's appeal. 

Since: Mar 4, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:28 pm

Cedric Benson: 'I'm playing' against Bills Sunday

If this is the case then Pryor and Tressel should not have been suspended by the NFL... They did not work for the NFL when all this went down. To be punnished by the NFL is wrong... if it is ok for one then the others should be punished also.... Jus' sayin....

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