Bengals News

Update on Ben Utecht Arbitration with Bengals


Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet before the AFC wild card playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed our earlier post, an arbitrator ruled today in favor of former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Ben Utecht in an injury grievance case stemming from a career-ending concussion that he suffered during training camp in 2009.

He claimed he wasn’t properly compensated for the injury, which caused him to be placed on the Injured Reserve List and lowered his salary for the 2009 season, and was later released by the Bengals in mid-November of 2009, thus, allowing the team to avoid paying him the full amount of his contract.

Justice was served today however, when the arbitrator awarded Utecht the remainder of his 2009 salary, which USA Today reported to be $926,471.

The sad irony was that Utecht’s injury was documented and aired on HBO’s Hard Knocks, in which he said this in the final episode:

"It’s just a huge blessing to work for an organization that I really believe cares about my health and well-being."

Tim English, the NFLPA attorney who handled Utecht’s case, also had this statement:

"This decision upholds our players’ rights to continued salary payments while injured and should provide important guidance for players and clubs in determining when it is appropriate to return to play after a player suffers a severe concussion."

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