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Johnathan Joseph is perhaps the most important free-agent that the Bengals need to consider bringing back. If Andy Dalton is going to take the reins in 2011, it's going to be a bumpy road and the defense will have to bear much of the workload. Dalton will need the ball as much as possible and the defense are going to play the role of damage control, the likes of which they haven't had to play to a huge extent during Carson Palmer's tenure.
Joseph and fellow CB Leon hall have proved a formidable partnership in the Cincinnati backfield and there is doubts that Pacman Jones can be relied upon to replace him if the Bengals get outbid for Joseph's services. With no other real replacements already on the roster, Lewis relying on Jones to step up would seem oddly counter to his fairly logical and rational offseason campaign thus far. Cinci should look to make a deal with Joseph while the rest of the league have their eyes on Asomugha, otherwise it could become difficult to get him back.
Cedric Benson is after a big contract, and believes himself to be deserving of one. Unfortunately for Ced, his numbers don't exactly back up this sentiment. Add to that the fact that a lot of teams took running backs in the draft and you'll realize the market for Ced might not be what he thinks it is.
While it may ruffle his feathers, Benson may have to sign a smaller contract with Cinci than he desires and it is something the Bengals should make happen given the opportunity. With the offense taking on a whole new look, Dalton will be looking to rely heavily on a smash-mouth running game in 2011. Benson knows the Bengals and has had some success here.
With Jay Gruden's new run-first system, Benson could once again thrive in the Queen City. While it would be unwise to give the erratic Benson a long-term deal, getting him back on board right now would be incredibly beneficial to the teams 2011 campaign.