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Former Vikings RB Michael Bennett Headed To Prison

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A few weeks ago Chris mentioned that former speedster Michael Bennett was arrested on and pleaded guilty to running a ring that was involved in identity theft, wire fraud and tax fraud. The former first round pick was also nabbed with William Joseph, also a former first round pick of the New York Giants in 2003.

Joseph is going to prison for two years after accepting a plea deal, and Bennett faces similar time.

Bennett was the Vikings first round pick in 2001 (27th overall) and it was hoped he could replace the retired Robert Smith, who is still the Vikings all time leading rusher.

Bennett had 682 yards rushing his rookie season, and seemed to have a breakout year in 2002, when he ran for 1,296 yards. He also had TD runs of over 75 yards in consecutive games that year, against the Buccaneers and Giants, which is still an NFL record, I believe. He was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team after the 2002 season.

But Bennett broke his foot running on a treadmill that following off-season and he was never the same. He never eclipsed 500 yards rushing in a season again, and bounced from Minnesota, to Kansas City, San Diego, and Oakland.

It was in Oakland that he met fellow crime lord William Joseph. The rest, as they say, is history.