Monday, August 29, 2005

It's About Time!

Cedric Benson ended his 36-day holdout Sunday night, agreeing to a five-year contract with the Chicago Bears.

Benson, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, was the last remaining first-round pick to sign. Terms were not available but reports said the Bears had offered a contract that contained $17 million in guaranteed.

``We are happy this process has reached a conclusion and look forward to moving ahead together,'' Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said in a statement Sunday night.

Earlier this month, Angelo said the team had made its final offer to Benson and that future negotiations would be centered on how much Benson's value had been reduced by the holdout.

Benson was a four-year starter at Texas and finished his career as the sixth-leading rusher in NCAA Division I-A history and the second-leading rusher in Longhorns history. In 49 games, he rushed for 5,540 yards on 1,112 carries with 64 TDs and caught 69 passes for 621 yards and three TDs.

He was expected to challenge Thomas Jones for playing time. The Bears have one preseason game remainining Thursday before starting the regular season at Washington on September 11.