Bengals should pass on new deal with Benson

According to reports, the agent for Bengals RB Cedric Benson approached the club about a new deal. Not surprising, as this is common practice in the league when a player comes off a season in which he shows production.

But, even after Benson rushed for 1,251 yards and six TDs — in only 13 games — for a playoff football team, is it too early to reward a player who is still viewed as a risk by many people in the league?

I like what Benson did in ’09 for the Bengals. When we look back and get into what they were able to do as a team running the football, he does have a major impact on how they game plan for opponents on Sundays. But, we are still talking about a player who was a major disappointment in Chicago after going in the top ten of the draft, has multiple off the field incidents, and was considered finished as a pro before last season.

I usually take the player’s side when I write about contracts if they are productive, but unlike a Chris Johnson in Tennessee, Benson has done it for one year. That isn’t enough in my book to start asking for money.

When we look at the Bengals heading into 2010, we have every right to see them as a playoff contender again. They have one of the most underrated defenses in the league with coordinator Mike Zimmer, and with the additions of WR Antonio Bryant and rookie TE Jermaine Gresham, I expect to see big numbers from both QB Carson Palmer and WR Chad Ochocinco. This offense will prepare differently and they will be more dynamic from a scheme and personnel standpoint this season.

A team that matches up well with Baltimore when you look at them on paper.

What that does is allow Benson even more opportunities. Defenses won’t be able to live in an eight-man front all game long, and when the Bengals do spread the field, Benson will get running lanes. Yes, the power game will still be a big part of the Bengals playbook — and something that is essential to winning in the AFC North — but they can do so much more because of the explosive personnel they added this offseason.

That makes Benson more attractive and more marketable when he does show the team that he can do it again in 2010. And, if he is still producing at a high level come November and December — and this team is winning again — there is no reason not to start talking about a new deal.

Because Benson will have earned that right.

For now, I tell the Benson camp that it is too early. Cincy needs to lock up some defensive talent first. Great year in ’09, but why don’t you show me again before I make you an offer. And, doing it again will make Benson even more money.

Ready for fantasy football? Click here to purchase the 2010 Total Access Pass/ Draft Guide from the NFP.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

Upcoming Games

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +5.5 -118

Chicago -5.5 -118

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

Buffalo -3 -118

Miami +3 -118

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

Houston +13 -111

Cleveland -13 -111

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

New England -4.5 -111

NY Jets +4.5 -111

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

Denver -2.5 -105

Jacksonville +2.5 -105

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

San Francisco -5.5 -111

Philadelphia +5.5 -111

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

LA Rams +1 -105

Indianapolis -1 -105

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas +6 -111

Pittsburgh -6 -111

@

Sep 19th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -3 +100

Carolina +3 +100

@

Sep 19th, 4:05 PM

Minnesota +1.5 -111

Arizona -1.5 -111

@

Sep 19th, 4:05 PM

Atlanta +7 -111

Tampa Bay -7 -111

@

Sep 19th, 4:25 PM

Tennessee +4.5 -105

Seattle -4.5 -105

@

Sep 19th, 4:25 PM

Dallas +1 -111

LA Chargers -1 -111

@

Sep 19th, 8:20 PM

Kansas City -1 -111

Baltimore +1 -111

@

Sep 20th, 8:15 PM

Detroit +7 -111

Green Bay -7 -111

@

Sep 23rd, 8:20 PM

Carolina -4.5 -110

Houston +4.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis +3 -115

Tennessee -3 -115

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

LA Chargers +7.5 -107

Kansas City -7.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Washington +7 -102

Buffalo -7 -102

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Chicago +8.5 -107

Cleveland -8.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +2.5 -107

NY Giants -2.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +6.5 -107

Pittsburgh -6.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Baltimore -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -0.5 -110

New England +0.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -6 -110

Jacksonville +6 -110

@

Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

Miami +1 -107

Las Vegas -1 -107

@

Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +7.5 -107

Denver -7.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay +2.5 -110

LA Rams -2.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Seattle -2.5 -107

Minnesota +2.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +3 -107

San Francisco -3 -107

@