Cedric Benson, the number 4 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft passed away on the night of Saturday, August 17th from a motorcycle accident. He was only 36 years old.
Benson was drafted by the Chicago Bears after an incredible senior season at Texas where he rushed for 1,834 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. But things did not start out as planned in the NFL, in his rookie year he only rushed for 272 yards in 9 games and the next two seasons less than 700 yards per season. Benson came to the Bengals in the 2008 offseason and was considered a head case and a distraction, but in Marvin Lewis fashion he took a chance on Benson and boy did it pay off.
Benson’s 2008 campaign was not very productive, only 747 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, while the Bengals finished 4-11-1 with starting QB Carson Palmer out for the majority of the season with a right elbow injury. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said how great of a locker room guy and teammate Benson was.
In 2009 Benson really broke out and displayed what everyone thought he would be when he was drafted. Benson put up 1,251 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns while helping the Bengals get to the playoffs and an AFC North title for the first time since 2005. In that 2009 season Benson had a huge game against his former team the Chicago Bears. He put on a show in a 45-10 Bengals blow out win where he rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown.
In 2010 Benson rushed for 1,111 yards and 7 touchdowns and in 2011 1,067 yards and 6 touchdowns while once again helping the Bengals get back to the playoffs with rookie QB Andy Dalton and rookie WR AJ Green.
The Bengals cut Benson after the 2011 season after he had some fumbling issues and replaced him with Benjarvus Green-Ellis in 2012. Benson last played in the NFL in 2012 for the Green Bay Packers but suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot and ended up retiring. Rest in peace 32.