Cedric Benson, former Texas star and NFL veteran, dies in motorcycle accident at 36

Texas running back Cedric Benson runs to daylight against Michigan in the 91st Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1, 2005.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images)

Former NFL running back Cedric Benson has died as a result of a motorcycle accident on Saturday night, family members and his attorney said Sunday. He was 36.

Former Texas coach Mack Brown tweeted a photo of Benson with the caption, “We lost a great one way too soon. #RIP”

Benson’s attorney, Sam Bassett, said Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in the wreck Saturday night. Bassett said he did not have details of the accident.


The fourth overall pick of the Chicago Bears in 2005, Benson is ranked second on the all-time rushing list at the University of Texas with 5,540 yards. He won the Doak Walker Award in 2004 as the nation’s top college running back. He rushed for 64 touchdowns as a Longhorn.

Benson attended Robert E. Lee High in Midland, Texas, and is considered among the greatest high school players in that state’s history, finishing his career with 8,423 yards rushing.

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On what appears to be his Instagram account, there are several photos and videos of Benson posing with motorcycles. That includes a shot posted Saturday night of two helmets resting on a motorcycle with the caption, “My Saturday evening.”

Benson ran for 6,017 yards and 32 touchdowns in eight NFL seasons, from 2005 to 2012. He was released by the Bears after three seasons in the wake of two alcohol-related incidents, one involving a boat and the other a car.

“He was from Texas, and he showed his Texas toughness in leading us to a division championship in just his second season with us,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said. “His three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons displayed the talent he possessed. Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing.”


Benson returned to Austin after his playing career and set up a foundation, NUFCED, to aid underprivileged children and families. Those efforts included helping repair damage at the home of the first victim killed in a series of bombings in Austin in early 2018.

Associated Press contributed to this report.