Ex-Bears running back Benson goes unclaimed on waivers

Any team in the National Football League could have claimed Cedric Benson off waivers for the cost of the remainder of his contract.

No one did. And now the former Chicago Bears running back, facing charges in Texas stemming from a pair of incidents, is now an unrestricted free agent.

The Bears cut Benson on Monday, following his arrest Saturday on drunken driving charges in Austin. It was Benson's second arrest in a month; he was charged on May 3 with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

Benson, who said he was mistreated by police during the first arrest, has said neither charge is true. He did, however, apologize "for making the poor decision to drink and drive" after his arrest on Saturday.

But the Bears had seen enough.

"Cedric displayed a pattern of behavior we will not tolerate," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Monday. "Everyone in this organization is held accountable for their actions. When individual priorities overshadow team goals, we suffer the consequences as a team. Those who fail to understand the importance of 'team' will not play for the Chicago Bears."

Had a team claimed Benson on waivers, it would have picked up the last two years of Benson's contract, at $820,000 for 2008.

ESPN senior writer John Clayton contributed to this report.