Packers running back Cedric Benson charged with allowing animals at large

Brian McIntyre

NFL running back Cedric Benson is once again in trouble with the law.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Benson was ticketed in December of 2012 after two of his Rottweilers attacked calves owned by his neighbor in Manitowoc County, Wisc. Benson has allegedly violated an ordinance that prohibits animals from running "at large" and his two dogs were discovered to have bit and chewed on the legs of 17 calves, some of whom may not survive their injuries.

On Jan. 1, 2013, Benson was cited for speeding by the Wisconsin State Patrol, who clocked the 2005 first-round pick out of Texas doing 76 mph in a 35 mph zone. Benson was also charged with operating without a valid license as his license in his home state of Texas had suspended. Benson also "had an attitude with me throughout the stop", the police report states.

Benson is due to appear in court on Feb. 13 for his traffic citations and on Feb. 20 for the animal citations.

The two incidents in Wisconsin are the latest in Benson's lengthy history of off-field troubles.

While with the Chicago Bears, who selected the former Texas standout with the fourth overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, Benson was arrested in May of 2008 and charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest in Austin, Texas. Two months after the boating incident, Benson was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Austin and was released by the Bears. In 35 games over three seasons in Chicago, Benson ran for 1,593 yards with 10 touchdowns.

After a grand jury failed to indict on both of his arrests in the 2008 offseason, Benson was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. In 56 games over four seasons in Cincinnati, Benson ran for 4,176 yards with 21 touchdowns. Benson also found himself in trouble with the law, arrested in Austin after he allegedly assaulted a bartender. In July of 2011, Benson was charged with misdemeanor assault with injury after an altercation with his roommate turned violent.

Benson was sentenced to 20 days in jail for the incident involving the bartender and served six days before start of the 2011 regular season before he was released on good behavior. Benson was originally suspended for three games for the pair of 2011 assaults, but that penalty was reduced to one game on appeal.

The Bengals opted to not re-sign Benson following the 2011 season and he signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum with the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 13, 2012. In five games with the Packers, Benson played in 199 offensive snaps, carrying the ball 71 times for 248 yards and a touchdown, while catching 14 passes for 97 yards out of the backfield before he was placed on the team's "Injured Reserve - Designated for Return" list on Oct. 10 with a sprained left foot.

Benson underwent surgery on his foot in late November and missed the remainder of the season, costing him several hundred thousand dollars in base salary. Benson was paid at a $825,000 rate ($48,529 per week) while on the 53-man roster, but that was reduced to a $393,000 rate ($23,118) while on injured reserve. Instead of earning $825,000 in 2012, Benson's final cash compensation was $520,059. The 30-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent when the 2013 league begins on March 12.