Benson Breaks Vow of Silence

Lake Forest - The Bears went 11 days without talking with Cedric Benson, but the fourth overall pick made a surprise visit to Halas Hall on Thursday.

Bear Report has confirmed that Benson spoke face-to-face with general manager Jerry Angelo for about 30 minutes, but no negotiations took place

Angelo, Benson and Brian Peters were all at the impromptu meeting. Peters represented Benson during his baseball days with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Benson's football agent Eugene Parker was not involved in the get-together. Parker represented recent Bears' first round picks Rex Grossman and Tommie Harris during their rookie contracts.

Angelo has tried to avoid speaking on the subject since releasing a statement a week ago that hinted the team would take money off the table if a deal wasn't consummated.

Even though the threat didn't lead to immediate action by Benson's camp, the fact that the two sides are talking is a breakthrough at this point.

A report earlier in the week had Benson putting his suburban home up for sale. He is one of two draft picks yet to agree to terms and is the only first round selection to have that dubious distinction.

Benson has missed 32 days of work since the Bears opened training camp on July 24th. The team's fourth of five preseason games is slated for Friday against the Buffalo Bills.

The timeframe to get a deal done with Benson in which he has any chance of being ready for the start of the season is closing quickly. The opening kickoff is 17 days away and he hasn't practiced with the team since the end of June.

The Bears have treated starter Thomas Jones with kid gloves, including not playing him against the Indianapolis Colts. He will start against the Bills in the only preseason game that the first string offense is expected to play into the second half.

Obviously the sooner a deal with Benson can be reached the better for both sides. Ideally, he would be in uniform when the team takes to the practice field on Sunday.

Whether or not the scenario plays out remains to be seen, but after an apparent impasse there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel and it's green for Benson.

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