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Four Reasons The Bengals Think They Need To Sign Cedric Benson

We wrote earlier today why the Bengals might not sign Cedric Benson. You didn't think we wouldn't play Devil's Advocate, did you? Not only do I think it's probable that the Bengals sign Benson to, say, a two-year deal, I think it's more than likely. Do I support it? Considering what we say in 2010, not really. But what we opine and what the Bengals actually think is right for their team is typically two contradicting clouds in the same storm.

Here's four reasons that the Bengals might sign Cedric Benson for 2011.

Benson's Return Could Depend on Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer will retire if he's not traded. Unlike most rich spoiled athletes who promote idle threats of sitting out, Palmer is actually considering retiring. If the Bengals were the last team on the face of the Earth, Palmer would still not return. That's the impression we've received regarding his resolve. This is a bull with horns. Wait. Don't most bulls have...

Will Carson Palmer relent and decide to return now with the offense having a new coordinator while going forward with the team's youth movement in Jerome Simpson, Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Andre Caldwell? The quarterback is threatening the team because he wanted changes and these are about as good of changes as you're going to see with this team. Are they enough?

Without Palmer, the front office could freak out with the lack of offensive weapons. They know Benson. They'll seal him up in a heartbeat to at least feel safe behind those dreadlocks of power (that always seems to lose his balance with the slightest hit around his legs).

Lack of In-House Options

The impression from the Bengals front office when viewing a team without Carson is Jordan Palmer as the quarterback and a running back in Bernard Scott who has yet to put durability concerns to bed. Scott had two games with the bulk of the work as the feature back in 2009. And it cost him three games because of a toe injury.

Behind Scott would be Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard, both of whom will be free agents.

Without Carson and one running back signed for 2011, the team may just sign Benson on the idea that they're already hurting on depth. And without the ability to sign that depth right now...

Collective Bargaining Agreement Means No Trades And No Signings

There's the issue of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Now, unless Benson is franchised (which would be a bad decision in our humble opinion), the Bengals can't sign Benson until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is worked out. Now, you're asking, why can't the Bengals just sign another running back when a CBA is worked out.

Well, they could.

However, you know this team as well as we do. With Benson there's familiarity. There's also the knowledge that Benson will likely cost far less now with the season he had in 2010. During a normal offseason, the team could bring in free agents, work them out, give a physical and sign them. This year, when the CBA is signed, free agency could be chaotic.

Keeping Benson gives the team a player they already know and it prevents them for going through auction-syle bidding that will surely happen when the CBA is completed.

Lewis Wants Power Rushing Offense To Return

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has already said that he wants the team to return to their 2009 power rushing offense.

Key to that offense was Cedric Benson, who averaged nearly 100 yards rushing per game; only 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson averaged more that season.