Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good News! Cincy Cedric Is Back!!!

WANTED:
A fairly cheap featured running back to play in Cincinnati. Must be physically talented and capable of performing at a Pro-Bowl level, but must be a tremendous character risk that will prevent most teams from pursuing. Please send tape and resume to Mike Brown. Also note that you will need to pay for your own transportation here for a tryout because really, we don't like to spend much money at all.


P.S.--It would help if you had an arrest record because, you know, we're the Bengals.



Happy times are back in Cincinnati! Yes, the wide receiver and offensive lineman that the Bengals wanted to keep opted to sign with other teams who, as far as I can tell, could only offer that they were NOT the Bengals. But Cedric the Runnertainer is back! And he doesn't even need to come in for a tryout!

Benson is an incredibly talented between the tackles runner when he wants to be. He's as smooth as silk and always seems to fall forward after the tackle. He's perfectly capable of catching passes out of the backfield and averaged 93 yards from scrimmage in 10 games for the Bengals last year including an average of 154 yards in his final three games. Plus, he's only 26 years old with plenty of tread left on the tires. He could actually be a real bargain for the Bengals if he works out the way he's capable.

And now the bad news:

He was cut from the Bears last year despite being the fourth pick of the 2005 draft and forcing a trade of Thomas Jones. Rumors out of Chicago were that Benson's teammates hated him and wanted nothing to do with the running back. He has a reputation for being pouty, aloof, acutely selfish, and not willing to commit to his teammates. Overall, Benson seems to most resemble Ricky Williams in his attitude and commitment to the game. He went down and visited the Houston Texans and they allowed him to get away despite the fact that Benson was a Texas high school star who was a popular player at University of Texas. Oh, and he has multiple off-season arrests on his record, but that is actually a plus with the Bengals.

So on the stat sheet, Benson looks like a real steal. In the intagibles department, he looks like a disaster waiting to happen. He finished the season strong, but that could have been because he was playing the Redskins, Browns, and Chiefs, teams that had already thrown the towel in on the season (and in two cases fired the head coach).

The Bengals will find out quickly if Benson was a good free-agent grab: not only does the team play the usual AFC North defenses in Pittsburgh and Balti
more, but they also get the new Rex Ryan Jets, the Vikings, and Bears. Benson will probably have some good games: the Bengals get the Lions, Texans, Chiefs, Broncos, and Raiders on the schedule, but no one will blink if Benson rolls up 100 yards on the Lions. It's the tough yards that count.

So congrats, Cincy. You got another piece to your championship puzzle that is part of your 28 year Super Bowl plan. He might flame out completely, but no one expects anything else out of a player who wears the Bengal stripes.

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