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While Cedric Benson set to hit market, focus will turn to running back

Another thing that today means is that the Bengals were unable to get Chris Crocker, Cedric Benson and Stacy Andrews re-signed before hitting the free agency market. Benson was a high priority because the Bengals would only be left with Chris Perry, James Johnson and Kenny Watson. It became more of a priority when DeDe Dorsey wasn't offered a tender. However, we suspect that, unless another team gets involved, he could eventually sign to a minimum deal that saves the Bengals $460,000.

What does this mean?

Well, the Bengals will be down to three running backs while waiting to see if Cedric Benson could secure a better deal in free agency. If he can't, perhaps he falls back on an offer that the Bengals may have made, or resume negotiations. There's a chance that the Bengals could be mid-level players in free agency, working running backs like J.J. Arrington, Deuce McAllister, LaMont Jordan (which has a certain poetic irony), Dominic Rhodes, Fred Taylor, Aaron Stecker, etc.

However, it would seem more likely that the Bengals will definitely hit the draft for a running back. Geoff Hobson went so far to say that they'll draft a running back no matter what. "Whether they sign Benson or not, the Bengals know they have to draft a back." Uh-hum. Chris Wells? (sigh)

It would also appear that the Eagles are interested Stacy Andrews.