It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans to say the least. There’s actually a chance that the Bengals could enter the 2011 season without their quarterback, running back and top-two wide receivers. As crazy as that sounds, that’s what a full-fledged rebuilding process looks like.
Cedric Benson will be a free agent as soon as a new CBA is agreed upon and from his recent comments it seems as though he may want to stay with the Bengals despite the roster shakeup. Benson met with the teams new offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, recently to discuss what will be the Bengals new offense.
“We had an interesting conversation about a lot of things,” says Benson, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We have a lot of things in common as far as the way we see the game.”
Gruden seemed to share Benson’s optimism about the teams offense but made an interesting reference to the teams plans at quarterback. Gruden eluded to the possibility of having a young quarterback under center despite the teams stance that they plan to have Carson Palmer at the start of the season.
“I would love to have him back,” Gruden said. “He’s the type of guy who wants to do well and that’s what we need. A physical back we can hand the ball to 20 to 25 times a game if we need to if we have the young quarterback.”
Benson is one of the top options that will be available on the free agent market but he has shown some consistent interest in returning to Cincinnati throughout the offseason. It would be a mistake assume that the is set on returning but the possibility is as high as ever.
As for the teams who could be interested in Benson, Miami is the team with biggest need at running back but the overall market is great for free agent backs. Anyone considering Benson would be wise to show financial constraints and see how the market plays out while looking for value. It’s a buyers market in regards to running backs and it would be a mistake to through a lot of money at a position that doesn’t produce as much with age, historically speaking.