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Report: RB Cedric Benson Expected to Sign With Packers

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Report: RB Cedric Benson Expected to Sign With Packers

Apparently one preseason game in San Diego was all Packers GM Ted Thompson needed to see in his running back position.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortenson, free-agent running back Cedric Benson is in Green Bay Friday night and expected to sign with the Packers.

In the Packers 21-13 loss to the Chargers Thursday, starting running back James Starks carried five times for 16 yards but dropped a pass and later lost a fumble on the exchange with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Overall, Starks has had a disappointing training camp.

Second-year back Alex Green remains promising long-term despite returning from ACL surgery, and Brandon Saine has shown flashes early in his NFL career.

But Thompson obviously wasn't satisfied with the position.

Benson, 29, has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his last three seasons. Originally drafted fourth overall in 2005 by the Chicago Bears, Benson spent the last four years in Cincinnati with the Bengals.

The move has layers of intrigue, especially considering the Packers made little effort to bring back long-time starter Ryan Grant this offseason. Grant remains a free agent after spending the last five seasons in Green Bay.

There were reports earlier this offseason that the Packers had "checked-in" on Benson, but most dismissed the reports as nothing more than the Packers doing their due diligence to the free-agent market.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Limehouse's picture

Well, I think it is pretty clear we have need of a better RB option...but is that Benson? Color me unimpressed.

Lars's picture

Who available would impress you?

Limehouse's picture

Good point. I'd rather just keep whatever money we are going to give him and let Starks and Green and Saine split carries...or make a trade. I like most team's backups better than any of our options (or Benson) right now.

Bobby O'Shea's picture

I love it when I hear the "just trade" scenario.. because you see so many teams willing to trade 1,000 yard backs . If you sign this guy to a no-risk, minimum veteran contract it's a win.

If he sucks, cut him... and it will wake Starks up in the process.

If he's good, keep him.... win/win situation.

I'm pumped about the signing.

Khawaja's picture

I am impressed. This is TT being aggressive and I love it. Benson will get holes Cuz of Rodgers and can still play. Having 3 back to back 1000 yard seasons is no fluke in the modern passing NFL. We need all the balance we need!

Sean McFarlane's picture

Agreed lars.
The next best is ryan grant and he wasn't as good as starks who sucks. Benson is proven and he always seemed to rush for a hundred yards against us. Good pickup. Ive been saying to sign him for weeks. I just thought ted wouldn't have the balls

jrunde10's picture

He's been a dependable RB the past three seasons (270+ carries, 1000+ yards each season) and they signed him for league minimum. He's also a more stocky back, capable of breaking tackles better than any RB on the packers roster and then Ryan Grant. Does anyone know if he's good in pass protection? Would have to guess so given what they packers said they value in an RB.

Yeah Benson has had plenty off-field problems, but he was being offered league minimum. I doubt they gave him much more, so this is a low risk, high reward situation.

Limehouse's picture

And as far as Cedric being able to break tackles better than Starks...
http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/03/27/2011-elusive-rating/

Honestly, Benson is really, really bad. I hope this signing is just because we want to have a large warm body to throw at the line on goalline situations or short yardage because Kuhn, while being a good fullback, is also hurt and not so great a ball carrier.

eqfan592's picture

Sorry, but saying that a RB that has had 1000 yards rushing the last 3 years in a row is "really, really bad" is just a tad hyperbolic to say the least. No, the guy is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he clearly has some talent and could be a valuable addition to the team. As somebody else has said, this is a low risk, high reward proposition and I'm glad to see the Packers take a shot at it.

woodson4president's picture

I have always liked ced ben. Hes solid. Better than Grant any day of the week.

Pauline's picture

I like that move!! He clearly can produce the yards, look at his stats...he will be a great addition to the team for sure. Not impressed with starks, or Green, need a veteran running back. Never was impressed with Grant. Go Pack!!!

Limehouse's picture

Grant was admittedly not great, and Benson did get a lot of yards, but that is what happens when you get a lot of carries. I don't know what the crowd here thinks about football outsiders, but check this from last year: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/rb

packsmack25's picture

So the front office doesn't trust any of the four backs we have or the former back to stay healthy. Makes sense.

Point Packer's picture

James Starks is likely a bust who had one great and huge game, but will never be a starter. This acquisition proves it. Fumbler. Bad hands. Fair blocker.

Happy about this pick-up.

Tommyboy's picture

Calling a 6th rounder a "bust" might be a reach, but I agree - it's possible we've seen his ceiling. I wouldn't say that if I heard reports about an impressive work ethic, but obviously, that's not been the case.

Point Packer's picture

A "bust" given the flashes of brilliance seen previously and the modest expectations.

Khawaja's picture

How can u be happy with Starks/Saine/Green? We need balance when passing isn't working. We sure could have used it against Giants and Chiefs last year when our receivers struggled. Starks has had almost 2 seasons of play time and he has not been durable or extremely productive. Now he is missing blocks, dropping passes and fumbling. Time to make a move now or criticize TT for not doing it later.

Limehouse's picture

I posted this earlier, but check it out. Starks was actually pretty good last year, and Benson has been a prodction black hole who consumes endless unimpressive carries. Some of this is probably a result of the kind of offenses they play on, but still.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/03/27/2011-elusive-rating/

eqfan592's picture

Dude, you're seriously putting far too much stock into a single statistic. Just chill and see how it works out.

Tommyboy's picture

I ummm....I hate it.

Limehouse's picture

If TT wanted to make a move at RB the time to do it was 6 months ago. Benson is a yardage monster when you hand him the ball 20 times a game, sure, but hopefully we aren't going to be giving him that amount of work. He can't catch the ball worth a damn, and his pass protection is pretty mediocre. Like I said earlier, he could maybe function as a short-yard and goal line option, but I would HATE to see him as our early-downs primary RB.

woodson4president's picture

I like green,but u cant mess with saines speed. I think benson for power n saine for pass catching would be a productive combo.

Cole's picture

At least it's still preseason, benson will get a chance to prove he can get it done, I see no harm in giving him a shot with three preseason games remaining. Not sure any rb could've ran behind that o line last night. Tyler was the most impressive, even though he didn't see tons of the cutbacks that were there. Green must not be all the way back, third on the depth chart an got like no carries last night

Cole's picture

Shocking as it would be, I could also see sain end up the starter this year

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