Bengals Contracts And Free Agency: Running Backs

We're taking a look at each position entering free agency and how much players are scheduled to earn in 2013 and beyond.

We're going through the contracts of every position on the team. Taking note of the positions first that the Bengals figure to address early and often.

Running back. A position without that homerun hitting superstar since touchdown dances were taboo and Sam Wyche dressed down Bengals fans in a legendarily moment that promotes Bengals pride. No one else's coach would dare do that.

Coach Jim Anderson will enter his 30th year coaching running backs with names that include James Brooks, Ickey Woods, Harold Green, Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, Cedric Benson and now BenJarvus Green-Ellis. All having gained (the somewhat oversaturated) 1,000 yards rushing milestone with a significant story in Cincinnati's history.

Today it's a position in flux. Changes will be made. It's inevitable. Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden wants a home run hitting game-changer. Two-back system at the very least, complimenting Green-Ellis' devastating high short yardage conversions.

How does the position look right now heading into March?

Brian Leonard and Bernard Scott are unrestricted free agents, with an argument to be made that neither return; though it's likely return with something short and cheap as a contingency pending an unexpected development that requires depth. Cincinnati is expected to tender Cedric Peerman, who enters free agency as a restricted free agent. No worries there.

That leaves two.

Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis signed a three-year deal worth $9 million on March 21 last season, with $4 million guaranteed. He's scheduled to earn $2.3 million per season this year and next, his final year under contract. During his first season he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing (not really that big of a milestone when you factor average yards needed per game) and converted the most third and one situations in the NFL. Exactly what he was signed for.

Daniel Herron signed the rookie minimum in 2012, a four-year deal worth $2.1 million. The second-year back is scheduled to earn $480,000 this year, $570,000 and $660,000 in subsequent seasons.

A breakdown.

RUNNING BACK 2013 2014 2015
BenJarvus Green-Ellis $2.3M 2.3M UFA
Daniel Herron $480,000 $570,000 $660,000
Cedric Peerman RFA
Brian Leonard UFA
Bernard Scott UFA
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