Cedric Benson, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, has died, according to multiple reports. He was 36.
Benson’s life reportedly ended in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night in Austin, when the motorcycle on which he was riding struck a minivan. Benson expired at the scene. A woman who was riding on the motorcycle also died.
Benson’s passing has not officially been announced by authorities in Texas. However, former Texas coach Mack Brown acknowledged Benson’s passing during a Sunday press conference held in his current job as the head coach at North Carolina.
Drafted by the Bears, Benson had three subpar seasons that included multiple off-field issues. Released by the Bears, Benson joined the Bengals in 2008, and he rushed for more than 1,000 in three straight seasons, from 2009 through 2011.
In 2012, the Bengals decided not to re-sign Benson. He joined the Packers, but suffered a season-ending injury after playing only five games.
Through eight seasons, Benson generated 6,017 rushing yards, 88th on the all-time rushing list.
Legal issues continued throughout his NFL career, and beyond. On Thursday, he resolved a 2017 DWI case by pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
We extend our condolences to Benson’s family, friends, coaches, and teammates.