Cedric Benson: Why Does the Former Bengals RB Remain Unsigned?

Brian GoldsmithContributor IIIJuly 19, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  (L-R) Running back Cedric Benson #32 and quarterback Andy Dalton #14 celebrate after Benson scores on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter while taking on the Houston Texans in their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cedric Benson has rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored at least six touchdowns in each of the last three seasons for the Bengals. You would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent running back over those seasons.

So why is he unemployed with NFL training camps opening in a matter of weeks?


He's Asking for Too Much Money

In the NFL, you're worth what a team is willing to pay you. The Packers, Jets and Raiders have shown interest in Benson, but as of right now, he doesn't want to accept the league minimum for his services. If Benson wants to play next season, he's going to have to swallow his pride and take the minimum. He knows that, saying, "There's going to come a point where I'm gonna take what I get."


He's Old

While 29 years old is not old for a quarterback, lineman or wide receiver, it is old for a running back. The evidence is out there. Once a running back hits 30, they hit a wall. Production goes down, and it usually goes down fast.

Add to that the fact that Benson ranked in the top 10 in the league in rushing attempts the past three seasons (sixth in 2009, fifth in 2010 and seventh in 2011). This means he's old for a running back with a lot of miles on him. Most teams see that and say "No thanks."


His Past

Let's be real here. Cedric Benson hasn't exactly been a model NFL citizen. Since 2008, Benson has been arrested four times and spent time in jail for charges like boating while intoxicated and assault. That can scare some teams away.

So, why is Cedric Benson unemployed? He's asking for too much money. He's old. He has had multiple legal problems.

Even with all that, some team will pick him up. It will just be at the league minimum.


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