After the NFL suspended Bengals running back Cedric Benson three games for violating the personal conduct policy, Benson not only appealed the decision but also filed a non-injury grievance under the CBA, and pursued an unfair labor practices charge against the NFLPA before the National Labor Relations Board. The league has since reduced the suspension to one game, along with a fine in the amount of one game check.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a hearing on Benson’s non-injury grievance will occur on Friday, but it’s believed that a decision won’t be made before Sunday, which means that Benson definitely will miss the team’s game against the Seahawks.
So why proceed with the non-injury grievance? If Benson wins, he’ll be paid for the missed game, and he’d not pay the separate fine in the amount of one game check. Along the way, Benson may get to the bottom of the August 4 letter agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, which exposed Benson and seven other repeat offenders to discipline for off-field conduct occurring during the lockout.
Per a source with knowledge of the NFLPA’s thinking, the August 4 letter was signed on behalf of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith by another union representative, as part of a series of documents that apparently weren’t reviewed as closely as they could have been, or should have been. The union is expected to contend, if/when required to articulate a position on the August 4 letter, that the written version of the agreement did not reflect what the union intended.