Is RB Cedric Benson a good fit with Raiders?

July 17, 2012, 9:53 pm
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In what amounted to two parts intervention, two parts interview, free-agent running back Cedric Benson told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday that the Raiders were one of two teams, along with Green Bay, to have shown interest in him thus far this offseason.He also said he had talked to some players in Oakland about the new regime and culture shift. Alas, Benson, who has rushed for a combined 3,429 yards and 19 touchdowns the past three seasons, remains unemployed some two weeks before training camps open."I think I can make any situation work.," Benson told Adam Schein and former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. "I'm not against anything. I just want to play ball. I just want to be on a team that wants to win football gamesand if either one of those teams (the Raiders and Packers), if that's their main goal and their main focus, it will work. Those situations can work."For it to work in Oakland, though, Benson would most likely have to take what he sees as a below-market salary.Because while the Raiders did find some relief by signing the franchised Tyvon Branch to a more cap-friendly longer-term contract this weekend, it is not known exactly yet how much more space they cleared. It is thought, though, to have given them up to 3.5 million in space at the moment, and they still have two unsigned draft picks in offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom and receiver Juron Criner.But while new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has shown a willingness to dole out incentive-laden one-year deals as he reboots the team, Benson balked at the notion of accepting a one-year contract for the veterans minimum, which is 825,000 for seven- to nine-year vets for 2012."I think it's only fair and only right on my behalf and on my team's behalf," he said, "tobe paid according to what I've achieved and what I'm capable of doing."So money is a factor?"Why shouldn't it be?" Benson said.And there you have it."I'm 29 years old now," he said. "I'm in my prime now. I'm a man nowI'm a guy who performs in the fourth quarter. I was raised on being able to do everything."Benson referred to himself as an "old-school" running back in the mold of Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas, Ricky Watters and Barry Sanders."Those guys played from the start of the game to the end of the game, they made it through the season," Benson said. "They stayed healthy. That's what I grew up watching. That's kind of my mentality."Later in the interview, which lasted nearly 33 minutes, Benson got choked up when talking about his past, which has included legal and attitude problems in Chicago and Cincinnati, and if that might be what is keeping teams away from him."Granted, I've had some run-ins off the field, but they're behind me now," he said"There's going to come a point where I'm going to take what I get; I'm going to make the best of it, regardless of the situation."So should the Raiders kick the tires on Benson again, or are they set at running back with Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones?

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