Thoughts on Benson returning to Bengals

July, 31, 2011
7/31/11
6:02
PM ET
Amid controversy, the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms with running back Cedric Benson to a one-year deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. This shouldn't be a huge surprise, as Cincinnati has made Benson a priority from day one.

But Benson cost himself a lot of money following an alleged assault a few weeks ago. The Bengals were expecting to give Benson a multiyear extension but instead gave him a one-year contract. Benson could be facing a suspension if found guilty and would miss multiple games this season.

The Bengals were not deep at running back and needed Benson almost as much as he needed the Bengals. Thus far, none of the top running backs were willing to go to Cincinnati in free agency and interest in Benson dropped dramatically after his arrest.

The best the Bengals can hope for is that Benson is innocent and can play the full season. If that's the case, Benson has a chance to redeem himself by having another big year, which would set himself up for the type of contract he could have received this summer.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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