The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed running back Cedric Benson on Tuesday, the team announced. The deal is for two years and $7 million, reports NFL Network’s Adam Schefter.
Benson, according to Schefter, agreed to the deal while he was in Houston, visiting the Texans.
Benson, who started the last 10 games of 2008, led the Bengals last season with 747 rushing yards and 932 yards from scrimmage, including 185 yards on 20 receptions.
He gained more than 100 yards from scrimmage in four of the last eight games, including more than 100 rushing yards in three of those contests. He averaged 154.0 yards from scrimmage in the final three games.
“Cedric was a great addition for us last year,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, “and we’re looking to see him pick up right where he left off.”
Chicago made Benson the No. 4 overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, following a Texas career in which he became the fifth back in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in four consecutive seasons. After playing three seasons for the Bears (2005-’07), he was released by Chicago prior to the 2008 season and signed with the Bengals on Sept. 30 of last year.
“Cedric was recognized as an elite talent coming out of college,” Lewis said. “His years in Chicago weren’t what he hoped for, but he was able to give us a lift on the field and be a great presence in the locker room. He earned everyone’s respect, and we’re excited to let him continue to grow in our system.”
Benson posted career highs last season with his 747 rushing yards and 20 receptions, and his 171 rushing yards at Cleveland was his single-game high.
Benson is the third unrestricted free agent to be retained by the Bengals during this year’s signing period, joining S Chris Crocker and LB Darryl Blackstock.