Cedric Benson is the last of a fairly deep class of free agent running backs left on the market. It seems unlikely a player with three straight 1,000-yard seasons will be without a home come training camp.
One possible destination is the New England Patriots, who prefer a stable of running backs and lost their leading rusher, as BenJarvus Green-Ellis will replace Benson in Cincinnati.
Could Benson return the favor in New England? Once upon a time, Bill Belichick won Super Bowls by squeezing the last bit of talent out of aging veterans. He signed a similar player in Corey Dillon eight years ago and Dillon exploded for a career-high 1,635 yards.
Other possible destinations for Benson include the Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. Detroit has concussion-prone Jahvid Best, injury-plagued Kevin Smith and jail-bound Mikhel Leshoure under contract. The Steelers are expecting to start the season with Rashard Mendenhall on the physically unable to preform list and have the relatively unproven duo of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer to carry the load. The Jets prefer a ground-and-pound style and are without a ground-and-pound back. Shonn Greene has proven he is not the star they once thought he would be.
At this point in the game, Benson will come for cheap and could end up being a steal. He is 29 years old, but did not receive more than 200 carries in a season until his fourth year in the league, so he should still have some tread left on his tires.