Green Bay Packers Announce Signing of RB Cedric Benson
According to Packers.com, Benson was announced Sunday:
The Green Bay Packers signed RB Cedric Benson and placed TE Eric Lair on injured reserve. The transactions were announced Sunday by Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations.
The Packers will be the third team that the 29-year-old running back has played for in his NFL career.
Benson did not live up to expectations after being drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was released in 2007 after three seasons and was signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he rushed for at least 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons.
Last year, Benson finished 12th in the league in yardage and seventh in attempts. In 2010, he finished 13th in total rushing yards and fifth in rushing attempts.
The Packers finished 27th in the league in total rushing yards. Ryan Grant—who is no longer with the team—and James Starks shared the workload, totaling a combined 1,137 yards on 267 carries.
Benson, who missed just one game over the last two seasons, nearly would be able to match that output himself if he were to become the primary option in the backfield. However, Starks figures to significantly contribute this upcoming season.
A two-headed ground attack is just what the Packers need to complement their high-powered passing offense, and Starks and Benson will provide a nice change of pace for each other. At 6'2" and 220 pounds, Starks can serve as the quicker back with more finesse. Benson, who is 5'11" and 230 pounds, could be a bruiser in short-yardage situations.
The running game was one of the only Packer shortcomings during the 2011 season, so it will be interesting to see how this acquisition pans out.
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