Cedric Benson signed a one-year contract worth the veteran’s minimum ($825,000) earlier in the week. That’s not surprising. A 29-year-old running back with baggage isn’t going to command much coin in today’s NFL. The surprise is that the deal includes no incentives. But after listening to what the former Bengal said the other day, it’s clear GM Ted Thompson wasn’t being cheap, he was simply being smart.
“I definitely have a goal to still rush for 1,000, 1,000-plus, and set up some big numbers,” Benson told FoxSportsWisconsin.com Monday after his first practice in Green Bay. “I understand it’s not a run-first team and the run is not real heavy here, but there’s times where a back gets the ball 25 times (in one game).”
Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a player setting high goals for himself, but Benson has about as much chance of getting 25 carries in a game as I have of playing center for the Philadelphia 76ers. And while I’m not sure if Benson will be a good soldier carrying the ball 10 or 12 times a game, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be a good soldier carrying the ball 10 to 12 times a game with an incentive-laden contract.
With no extra money to be earned, Benson’s biggest incentive this season will be to help the Packers win and perhaps earn a contract for 2013. He won’t accomplish the latter by complaining. You’d have to think he knows that. You’d also have to think that’s exactly why Thompson signed him to that team-friendly deal.