Chicago Bears: Time To Drop Cedric Benson

Matt GardSenior Analyst IJune 7, 2008

In an era when character issues have made certain National Football League organizations look awful, the benefits of Cedric Benson's presence don't make up for the downfalls for the Chicago Bears.

Benson was arrested for the second time in a little over a month this morning on drunk driving charges after failing a sobriety test and refusing to submit to a breath test.

The DWI was Benson's second such incident after being arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated in early May.

The 25-year-old running back reported to voluntary team workouts in the last month, but Benson has yet to prove that he is worth keeping. The former first-round draft pick finished near the back of the pack in rushing categories last season.

Benson ran for just 674 yards in 2008, a total of 3.4 yards per carry. He put up only four touchdowns while recording three fumbles, two of them for losses.

The Bears have a number of other running backs who could put up Benson's numbers, or better, without the off-the-field problems.

Adrian Peterson also averaged 3.4 yards per carry in 2008 on 151 carries. At 5-foot-7, Garrett Wolfe only got 31 carries last year, but did put up 117 yards on nine receptions out of the backfield.

The Bears also have two rookies that could potentially carry the load. Matt Forte, a 6-foot-2, 216-pound back out of Tulane, is the more likely of the two to get playing time.

Forte wasn't one of the more well-known backs in the NFL Draft this year, but is very elusive and was taken in the second round. The other back is Matt Lawrence, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder out of UMass.

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