The Green Bay Packers announced they have signed running back Cedric Benson to a one-year deal. Benson will provide a veteran presence among the Packers' young stable of running backs and have everybody opportunity of earning playing time.
To make room for the acquisition, the Packers placed rookie tight end Eric Lair on injured reserve with a knee injury.
The signing was rumored throughout the weekend, and the Packers officially announced the move this afternoon.
The signing of RB Cedric Benson is official: pckrs.com/tdje
Injuries have been rough on the Packers early in camp, especially at the running back position. James Starks is dealing with a turf-toe injury and is expected to be out a few weeks. Brandon Saine has a hamstring injury and is still a ways away from returning. Du'ane Bennett is day-to-day with a knee injury.
That left the Packers with Alex Green and Marc Tyler as the only healthy backs prior to the Benson signing.
Benson spent the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, rushing for over 1,000 yards the last three years. Last season, Benson had 273 attempts for 1,067 yards and six touchdowns playing in 15 games for the Bengals.
The signing is rather interesting, as the Packers opted to add Benson instead of re-signing Ryan Grant. After his contract expired following the season, Grant still doesn't have a team. Many assumed if the Packers felt they needed running back help, they wouldn't hesitate to call Grant.
Last season, Packers running backs were very careful holding onto the football. Grant and Starks each fumbled twice during the season, and fullback John Kuhn had one fumble. Benson has struggled a little bit in this aspect, fumbling five times last season and seven the year before that.
The contract is likely to be around the minimum and include very little risk for the Packers. If Benson struggles or has issues off the field, there is no reason the Packers can't just easily cut ties. If Benson plays well, a longer-term deal could be in the works.
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