NFL.com Staff | Tags: Three and out, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, Cedric Benson, Cedric Peerman, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Domenik Hixon, Jay Gruden, Mario Manningham, Michael Bush, New York Giants, Pat Shurmur, Peyton Hillis, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson
Bengals considering RB-by-committee: That scourge of fantasy football owners everywhere — the running back committee — appears headed to Cincinnati. Bengals OC Jay Gruden said he’s thinking about employing a rotation of ball-carriers during the 2012 season. Don’t expect that rotation to include Cedric Benson, who’s given every indication that he plans to leave Cincy as a free agent this offseason. In his wake, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman are all in line to pick up the slack. Of course, that could change depending on what happens with the 2012 NFL Draft. For fantasy owners, the best hope is that the Bengals settle on a player who could grab the bulk of the carries — either draft Trent Richardson or sign a player like Michael Bush through free agency. If not, there won’t be much value in the Cincinnati backfield this year.
Browns unlikely to franchise Hillis: Since the season ended, the Browns have shown an interest in re-signing RB Peyton Hillis. If that’s going to happen, the two sides might need to come to an agreement with reports that the team doesn’t want to use the franchise tag on the 26-year old runner. That puts Hillis’ future with the team in doubt, especially after coach Pat Shurmur said he wasn’t certain the RB would be back with the club next year. The 2011 struggles for Hillis were well documented and it was somewhat surprising that the Browns had any interest in keeping the partnership alive. Now with a chance that Cleveland could move up to draft Robert Griffin III, a major offensive overhaul could be in the works. Until there’s a better idea of where (or if) Hillis fits, he can be moved down fantasy draft boards.
Hixon wants to re-sign with Giants: Despite missing all but two games in the past two seasons, Giants WR Domenik Hixon hopes to re-sign with the team and believes he’ll be as strong as ever. Regardless of how well his rehab has gone since tearing an ACL in Week 2 last season, Hixon will find himself down on the depth chart. The good news is that with Mario Manningham considering greener pastures in free agency, Hixon has a chance to compete for New York’s No. 3 WR spot. Does that mean he can be just as productive as Manningham? The jury is very much out on that, especially with Hixon’s recent injury history. For now, consider leaving him on the waiver wire.