Packers And Jets Join Raiders Among Potential Benson Suitors
Benson remains a free agent due to his unwillingness to sign for the veteran's minimum salary, but few believe he'll get more than that.
One potential team that could bite and give Benson his desired salary would be the Seahawks should Marshawn Lynch be suspended for the DUI he got on Saturday. With rookie Robert Turbin and third-down specialist Leon Washington as Lynch's only backups, they may find Benson to be of significant value to them.
The three teams that Lynch said he's spoken with all make a ton of sense as a landing spot for the running back. The Raiders just lost Michael Bush, a runner with a similar style to Benson. Though they have the exceptional Darren McFadden slated to be the starter, he has an inauspicious injury history, making a solid backup important to the team. With unproven running backs Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones as McFadden's backups, the Raiders are right in looking to Benson for his services.
The Packers are simply looking for veteran depth. Outside of starter James Starks, the Packers don't have any notable halfbacks. They are pretty high on second year running back Brandon Saine as a good pair of hands out of the backfield, but as far as up-the-middle runners, Starks' backups would be only Alex Green (3 career rushing attempts and recovering from ACL surgery) and fullback John Kuhn. After letting Ryan Grant walk, it's reasonable for the Packers to look to Benson as a veteran backup.
After showing a ton promise in his rookie year, Shonn Greene has not lived up to expectations the past two seasons. With LaDainian Tomlinson calling it a career this summer, Greene's backups are now Joe McKnight (3.1 yards per carry last year) and second year Bilal Powell (13 attempts for only 21 yards last year). With a very average starter and not much talent backing him up, the Jets should definitely be looking to add a solid runner to take a share the backfield.
Though he has not lived up to his 4th overall draft pick hype, Cedric Benson does have a nice string of three thousand-yard seasons in a row. Though he only averaged 3.8 yards per carry during those seasons, he has proven that he can pound the rock and not wear down. He still has something to contribute as a backup in the NFL.
With the Raiders, Packers, Jets, and Seahawks (should Lynch be suspended) all looking to add depth to their backfields, expect Benson to be on a team by Week 1, with those teams being the frontrunners for his services.