The Ravens backfield appears all set, with Ray Rice now in the fold for the next five years.
Behind Rice, a trio of young backs rookie Bernard Pierce and second-year players Anthony Allen and Damien Berry are vying for the No. 2 job, which was held last season by veteran Ricky Williams.
If the Ravens are underwhelmed by their backup options and at this point, theres no indication that they are at least one proven veteran is still out there on the market: former Bengals running back Cedric Benson.
Benson, who is coming off his third straight 1,000-yard season, told Sirius XM NFL Radio that he has no idea why he is still a free agent. Im at a loss for words.
Benson ran 273 yards for 1,067 yards and six touchdowns for the Bengals last season, but his workload waned and his dissatisfaction grew with offensive coordinator Jay Grudens system. He became a free agent after the season, but no deal has been forthcoming.
Benson reportedly is asking for more than the veterans minimum salary, which seems reasonable for someone coming off three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Then again, he will be 30 in December, and his reputation has taken a hit with some off-field issues.
The Raiders, Jets and Packers are said to have considered Benson as proven insurance against an injury to their top running backs.
The Ravens last year signed Ricky Williams after training camp had started, and he filled the role behind Rice well. Williams knew his role and seemed content to be the No. 2 back in the twilight of his career. Considering his grumbling late last season, Benson sounds as if playing second fiddle would not be quite as agreeable to him.
So Benson might not the answer for the Ravens. But once training camps begin and running backs get hurt, heres guessing Bensons phone rings and he ends up in an NFL uniform by September.