The list of potential free agents on the Bengals current roster is long and on top of that list are running back Cedric Benson and cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Benson, for one, hopes to remain on the roster in 2011.
"I would love to return to Cincinnati," Benson said. "I was able to find some success here and think I can find a lot more. Coming back wouldn’t be a bad thing for me. However, if things were to change I would embrace those changes as well. Whatever is coming my way I’m excited about it."
Benson is coming off of his second consecutive 1,000-yard season for the Bengals after coming to Cincinnati as a free agent in 2008 on the tail end of a disappointing pro debut in Chicago. In the three seasons that Benson has been a Bengal he's rushed for 3,109 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2009, when the passing attack was struggling to get off the ground, Benson personally carried the Bengals offense to their second playoff game in the Mike Brown era.
"You focus so much on numbers and how profitable you were during the season you tend to lose sight of other things," Benson said. "The most important thing is how you grew as a person and your development as a human being over the course of that year. This has been one of my best years of growth. I changed the course of my life from the way things were said about me in the past. I’m proud of myself for not only growing as a player but a person."
Benson hopes that, if he returns, he can help Bengals fans deal with the pains of being let down in 2010 and having a losing culture over the past 20 years and that he's appreciative of the support the fans gave him, even when the team was losing.
"I have received a lot of love from the fans even when I didn’t perform well," he said. "It’s really unfortunate for them. At times, I find myself feeling sorry for them because the organization had been losing for so long. They deserve some winning or at least some guys that show up every Sunday. If I can come back and contribute to bringing those fans who care some enjoyment, I’m willing to do my part."