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Joyner: Cedric Benson Is A Risky Free Agent Signing

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With free agency beating against the front door, the offseason-long questions will begin to materialize into long-awaited answers. Will Johnathan Joseph stick around with Leon Hall for a while longer, giving the Bengals defense a great duo of cornerbacks? What about Jonathan Fanene, who is nothing if not versatile on the defensive line that adds a decent pass rush? Do the Bengals have a better linebacker in pass coverage than Brandon Johnson?

Of course there's that guy that can take the ball 25-30 times in a game, as he's shown multiple times in a Bengals uniform for the past three seasons? Granted. His recent assault charge have Bengals fans squirming against the idea of bringing Cedric Benson back and who can blame them? He's a reminder to a past of Bengals caricatures that were often battling the law five years ago.

But as we've pointed out a dozen times, the idea of bringing Benson back often reminds people that he just wasn't a productive running back in 2010. A 3.5 yard/carry is below the league average. Losing five fumbles -- seven fumbles total -- is bad enough, compounded by the situations in games that they happened.

ESPN's K.C. Joyner calls signing Benson one of the riskest by any team this offseason.

Benson did not fare much better than Brown in GBYPA, as his 5.7 mark ranked ninth-worst for runners with 100 or more carries. Add his recent arrest on charges of assault -- and the accompanying suspension that could go along with that if Benson is found guilty -- and it becomes clear why signing him could be a low-percentage move.

GBYPA stands for Good Blocking Yards Per Average.

The specifics of this system are quite detailed -- but the nutshell explanation is that I grade tape of every block on every running play. Each block is given a win or loss grade. A win grade roughly means that the blocker moved the defender out of the point of attack. A loss grade generally indicates that the defender beat the blocker.