Cedric Benson faces 'threat of extortion' from alleged victim

The man who free agent running back Cedric Benson allegedly punched in the face last weekend has tried to make as cash grab.

That’s what attorneys representing Benson have said, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Benson’s lawyers Wm. David Cornwell Sr. and Sam Bassett released the following statement to Reedy:

“Thomas Crosley, the attorney for Clavens “Miami” Charles, the individual involved in the incident with Cedric Benson this weekend, contacted us yesterday to demand a “settlement” meeting. This attorney stated that if we did not respond within a short period, Mr. Charles would respond to media requests, including a request for an interview from TMZ. We have learned that Mr. Charles’ representatives have contacted at least one public relations firm to assist them with publicity.

“There is nothing to settle with Charles. In fact, we intend to confront Charles in defending the misdemeanor charges against Cedric. Cedric did not act without provocation.

“Cedric regrets the events of this weekend and he is committed to addressing any concerns that NFL teams may have. But, he will do so unburdened by the threat of extortion.”

Benson was arrested in the early morning hours Sunday in Austin, Texas. According to the police affidavit, Charles was talking on his phone on a downtown street corner at 4:45 a.m. when a “hostile and aggressive” Benson attacked him. Benson was arrested shortly thereafter and posted $10,000 bond that afternoon.

Benson goes on trial for an assault charge stemming from an incident last year at an Austin bar in August.

When the new league year begins, Benson will be a free agent. Whether or not he will re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals remains to be seen.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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