ESPN is reporting that the injury-laden Green Bay Packers have signed free agent running back Cedric Benson to a one-year contract.
Benson, 29, spent his last four NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of the last three. However, the Bengals apparently had little interest in resigning him, leaving the Packers a golden opportunity to pick up a back with over 5,700 career rushing yards for the veteran’s minimum ($825,000).
CBS Sports points out Green Bay was in dire need of a veteran running back after injuries ravaged the unit.
“Third-year starter James Starks is out indefinitely with turf toe; second-year backup Alex Green is on a snap-count as he continues recovering from last year’s ACL injury; third-stringer Brandon Saine, an undrafted second-year player, is still dealing with a pulled hamstring,” CBS’ James Carlton notes.
The fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, Benson’s best season came in 2009 when he racked up 1,251 rushing yards and six TDs.
“He’s a good player,” a personnel executive from another team said of Benson. “It’s a good signing if he’s been taking care of himself. You figure they have a feeling about that. He’s got nice feet. He’s not a one-cut runner though.”
According to the Packers’ official site, Benson should be in uniform for practice Monday (though NFL rules prohibit him from wearing pads the first two days) and will wear number 32. The site also says the team has also placed TE Eric Lair on injured reserve in order to make room for their new acquisition.