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Monday links and notes; Benson's stock rising?

Today is a short one.

Cedric Benson is listed as the third best running back in the market on this site. However, notice that the comment says "Character issues will always be a concern." We touched on this yesterday, with character concerns being a reason that other teams will lower him on their "target" list, giving the Bengals a better shot at re-signing him. I know it sounds goofy, but without those concerns, the Bengals are all but out of the running.

In truth, there's really no reason to believe that anyone knows what exactly will keep T.J. Houshmandzadeh in Cincinnati. Is it really money? Is it the team's culture, or tendency to losing? Perhaps it's money because the team isn't a well-run franchise, and thus are perennial losers, opening the door for an exit.

Daydreaming about Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson being Bears wide receivers.

John Thornton talks defensive tackles.

Carlos Holmes is impressed with Marvin Lewis at the Combine.

Quote of the day goes to James Walker: "If 51 sacks last season and an elbow injury to Carson Palmer doesn't tell Cincinnati to get protection, nothing will."

However, Scott Priestle makes a good point that the Bengals need to find a good balance between the draft and free agency, which could address a majority of our needs.