Benson begins Texas jail term
Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson has begun serving a 20-day jail term in Texas to settle two misdemeanor assault cases.
The former University of Texas star was sentenced Monday in Austin and had planned to surrender Oct. 17, during Cincinnati's bye week. Travis County Jail records show Benson was booked late Tuesday.
Benson's jail time could be shortened with possible credit for time served when arrested.
The 28-year-old Benson was arrested in 2010 for allegedly punching a bar employee in Austin, an incident that earned him a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell but resulted in no punishment. He pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with injury in that case.
He also was arrested last month for allegedly punching a former roommate in downtown Austin. He pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with bodily injury with family violence, and that will be dismissed if he performs 30 hours of community service and pays an undisclosed amount of restitution to the victim.
Benson was Chicago's first-round pick in 2005. He had two alcohol-related arrests with the Bears, who let him go in 2008.
He signed as a free agent with the Bengals and has led them in rushing each of the last three years - 747 yards in 2008, 1,251 yards in 2009 and 1,111 yards in 2010.
He was disappointed last season when the Bengals went away from their run-based offense that won them the AFC North title in 2009, then finished 4-12. After the Bengals changed offensive coordinators, Benson lobbied to stay in Cincinnati and signed a one-year deal. He provides a run-first option in coordinator Jay Gruden's new offense, which is being led by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.
Benson also must pay a $4,000 fine within 30 days.