clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Free Agency: Cedric Benson Could Play Thomas Jones Role With Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs could benefit from a boost of Benson in the backfield in the hopes that the running game can return to elite status once again.

Cedric Benson found new life as a veteran back in Cincinnati as the Bengals featured running back since 2008. Now Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the team is likely to part ways with Benson and go with a younger backfield. If that's true, the Kansas City Chiefs are likely a team to at least check in on Benson's price tag and health given the current state of the Chiefs' own backfield.

The Chiefs are hoping that Jamaal Charles can return to form after a torn ACL injury early in the 2011 regular season. That said, Charles worked well in Todd Haley's offensive system when paired with a strong goal line back who can provide a bruiser to Charles' athletic style. Thomas Jones filled that role for Kansas City over the last couple of seasons, but it would not be surprising if Jones were let go for the sake of a more productive back.

About Benson's availability, Florio writes, "Benson was given safe harbor in Cincinnati, and he returned the favor with a string of productive seasons. Along the way, he signed two new contracts with the team. Now, with his most recent one-year deal due to expire, it sounds like the two sides are ready to move on."

Benson rushed for his third straight 1,000 yard season in 2011 and averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Benson likely will want the chance to carry the ball another 250-plus times for an NFL team, but he seems the kind of free agent who could linger on the market for a while if teams fail to meet his playing time expectations. The Chiefs could benefit from a boost of Benson in the backfield in the hopes that the running game can return to elite status once again.