Bengals RB Benson fights back in wake of league suspension

Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson is pursuing action against the NFL Players Association, according to a league source.

Benson is currently appealing a three-game suspension that was issued for his arrest during the lockout (he already served prison time during the preseason), according to a league source.

He's also taking action against the NFLPA in regards to this situation, charging the organization with not properly representing his rights as he is among eight players who were part of a "side-letter agreement" that was signed by NFL and NFLPA leaders on Aug. 4 detailing players who potentially could be disciplined for actions during the lockout.

Benson is being represented by attorney David Cornwell, who has represented Terrelle Pryor, Ben Roethlisberger and others. Benson filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday, according to a league source, based at least in part on the fact that he was an unrestricted free agent at the time of his latest off-the-field issues and not a player under contract during the lockout.

According to the Aug. 4 letter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell determined that except for the eight players listed as "repeat offenders subject to discipline for conduct during the period" of the lockout (March 12-Aug. 3), all other players shall not be fined or suspended for such conduct.

The eight players listed in the letter are: Benson, Albert Haynesworth, Kenny Britt, Clark Haggans, Johnny Jolly, Adam Jones, Aqib Talib and Brandon Underwood.

Benson's charge against the NFLPA contends he shouldn't have been included in the side-letter agreement because he wasn't an employee of any team during the lockout. Therefore, employment rules shouldn't have applied.

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