NFL Rumors: Cincinnati Bengals Have Interesting Running Options

Nick DeWittAnalyst IMarch 17, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots runs the ball against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Giants won 21-17. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Even though it seems like the Bengals will let Cedric Benson, their running back for the last few seasons, walk away in free agency, this Cincinnati squad has some interesting possibilities when it comes to replacing him. Let's have a look at those names.

The Bengals are slated to host BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Patriots. The "Law Firm" has developed from an unknown into a bruising back for Bill Belichick's team. He's set to cash in during this year's free agency. The Bengals have cap space to spare, so they may make him a good offer and land his services.

It doesn't end there, however. They are also scheduled to host Michael Bush, who last toiled for the Oakland Raiders. Bush, who played second fiddle to Darren McFadden until "Run DMC" went down last fall with an injury, is also set to cash in and find a team of his own.

The running back market has developed about as slowly as could ever be expected. While quarterbacks of all shapes, sizes and types have flocked to new teams, and wide receivers are flying all over the place, runners have done little.

The Bengals are in a good position. They have talent everywhere else on their offense. The running back position needs addressed more than anything (except maybe the offensive line). The money is there to spend.

And for the first time in a long, long time, the Bengals can actually be looked at as a destination. They were a playoff team last year and didn't have any of the ridiculous sideshow issues that seemed to plague them for almost a decade. Now, they're a young team competing well in a tough division.

There isn't a ton beyond Green-Ellis and Bush if you count out a reunion with Benson, which is unlikely. If the Bengals can't woo one of the two backs, they may have to wait until April's draft to make a move at the position. It's very unlikely they'll rely on their in-house options since none are projecting as a true feature back.

This could be one of the more interesting storylines early next week once the drama around the biggest fish, Peyton Manning, finally quiets.