Benson is signed through the rest of this year, earning $520,000 in base pay; basically chump-change on the NFL scale for feature running backs. Right now, he's in the midst of a I-can-be-an-effective-contributor campaign, trying to garner interest out on the free agency market. As per Football Futures, the biggest named free agent at running back will be Brandon Jacobs -- who will be unrestricted and likely cashing in. After that, you have a collection of aging backup running backs.
If Cedric Benson performs well closing out the remaining nine games this season, then he could very well be a hot commodity at running back in a very weak free agency class at the position. With each successful game he records, his price goes up based on the weak supply and the always high demand at the spot. And do you really expect the Bengals to offer Benson a sizable contract?
Unrestricted Free Agents in 2009 at RB