During Tuesday's interview on Sirius NFL Radio's Late Hits, Cedric Benson made the logical point that Carson Palmer returning would be a detriment for the team. Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer transcribed the interview, which includes a lovely little nugget towards the end where Benson believes he should get a big contract:
“I think I’m deserving of that I just hope a couple teams feel the same way. It would be nice if it would be the Bengals, they drafted a quarterback in the second round and have young receivers, they’re going to need a horse in there.”
True. We will. Though Benson might be disappointed in his expectations. Along with losing five of his seven fumbles in 2010, Benson's 1,111 yards rushing ranked 17th in the league and 82 players posted a higher yards/rush average than he did. Additionally, during two of his three seasons with the Bengals, Benson only posted a 3.5 yard/rush average and idealistically, a running back that wants to score a big contract needs to post more than 15 touchdowns through a three-year period. And during his best season in 2009, where he posted six 100-yard rushing games, he only scored six touchdowns.
Benson has been an important piece of this offense, often moving only as well as he runs the football. But in reality, if Benson is expecting a big contract, he's probably going to be disappointed. The one thing going for him is the team's current roster of running backs signed through 2011. And Bernard Scott's durability questions leave open the need for a workhorse.