Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans
Cedric Benson appeared on Sirius XM NFL radio today where he spoke of the fact that he is not currently part of an NFL team. He got very emotional in his interview with hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon about wanting to be signed by a team before camp. While he claims to be "at a loss for words" as to why he isn't signed, the words he did say give a pretty good indication why that might be.
He said that the latest interest in his services has come from the Raiders and Packers. He also said the Jets had inquired about him but that it was a while back near the beginning of the summer. The Raiders have actually had him in for a workout. So why hasn't he been signed?
It may have a lot to do with his asking price.
He said in the interview that he was unwilling to sign a one year deal at veteran minimum which for him would be $810,000. He feels like his production warrants more money and perhaps more commitment. But the market is not bearing that and that is a reality he seems unwilling to face.
The Raiders were barely able to afford to sign him at the veteran minimum before but now with the signing of Branch to a long term deal, they have a lot more money to work with. But that still doesn't mean they will overpay for Benson.
If it really means that much to Benson that he be with an NFL team by the time camp opens, he needs to lower his pay demands. The Raiders are probably willing to raise his pay slightly but not much. My projection has been that they would pay him around $1 million on a one year deal with perhaps some performance incentives that could top his deal at around $1.5 million.
The Raiders have other needs they would like to address- such as tight end and linebacker-- and they have about $3.3 million in which to address those needs.
If getting paid less than he feels he is worth hurts Benson's feelings, he should consider how hurt his feelings would be if he were teamless altogether. Which with the way he is talking, could very well be the case.