According to Geoff Hobson, the Bengals attempted to re-sign their two biggest free agents, running back Cedric Benson and cornerback Johnathan Joseph, before the free agency deadline earlier this month on March 4. Unfortunately, March 4 came and went without news of the Bengals signing either Benson or Joseph.
All is not lost, though, Bengals fans! According to Hobson, the Bengals will attempt to re-sign Joseph and Benson once there is a new CBA in place, ending the lockout, and they hit the free agent market.
The Bengals tried to re-sign cornerback Johnathan Joseph and running back Cedric Benson before the lockout, but found the prices extravagant and now hope they'll be able to win both when they go on the free-agent market.
Remember when I said all is not lost? I take it back. Joseph is all but lost now. Here's why: the money that Joseph and his agent asked for was probably not extravagant. Instead, it was likely that it was just what a cornerback of Joseph's caliber deserves.
Of course, even if Joseph came to the table saying he only wanted $1,000 for the next four seasons, Mike Brown would come back with an offer of $500 just because he likes a good haggle, regardless of how good a deal is. There's no question that there are many teams around the league who would like to get their hands on Joseph and they'd be willing to pay the kind of money that the Bengals would call extravagant. Say goodbye to Joseph.
Does this mean that the Bengals are hoping for Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara in the first round of the draft? Possibly.
Benson, on the other hand, is coming off a good/bad year in which he scored more touchdowns than any other year in his career but he also fumbled the ball more than any other year too. Benson may hit the market and find that the Bengals offer doesn't sound that bad. We'll have to wait and see, especially after we watch how the Bengals draft in April.
This year is considered a weak one when it comes to the running back draft class. That may drive the Bengals to work harder to get Benson back in stripes.
Either way, it's unfortunate that Joseph's "extravagant" demand will likely be met by a team other than the Bengals.