One of the key questions regarding the three-game suspension of Bengals running back Cedric Benson relates to whether the NFLPA agreed that Benson and seven other players regarded as repeat offenders could be disciplined for incidents occurring during the lockout.
The centerpiece of the league’s position that the union agreed to this approach is an August 4 letter agreement, signed by NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. (We’ve previously posted the full text of the letter.)
Per multiple sources, the NFLPA declined during the Benson appeal hearing to offer testimony or other evidence to support its position that the letter agreement doesn’t constitute an agreement that Benson may be disciplined.
The reasons for the union’s position to testify regarding the letter aren’t clear. If the NFLPA believes that the letter agreement doesn’t allow Benson to be disciplined, the union should have introduced testimony and any other evidence available to support the position, since it would have directly supported Benson’s position that he should not be suspended.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah declined to respond to this report.