I'm not exactly sure if we expected the Bengals to seal Cedric Benson before the running back decided to hit the free agent market. In truth, few unrestricted free agents come to terms with their respective teams. It just doesn't happen as much as one would hope.
However, buried deep inside another piece, was a blurb by Joe Reedy about Cedric Benson likely to test the free agency market.
Lewis said running back Cedric Benson's agent, Eugene Parker, will have his client test the waters in free agency.
Yep, we totally missed a very important development, however not totally unexpected (in fact, it was expected), that's not even given its own headline (or bold-face caps letter introduction).
Now that Benson is confirmed to be hitting the market, we think that the best thing going for us is the perception regarding character flaws; along with reportedly isolating himself with Bears players. Even though that's all in the past, Benson hasn't replayed those attitudes with the Bengals. In fact, Marvin Lewis and various beat writers have called Benson a true professional with little or no fear that he'll revisit those problems.
In our selfish hope that Benson is still characterized as a "problem", the Bengals could still compete with other low-ball offers that wouldn't hurt a team's cap if he runs into problems again and needs to be released. However, if teams view him as one of the best available free agents, then the Bengals have no shot. With Darren Sproles franchised by the San Diego Chargers, that likeliness grew.