Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden indicated in January that free agent running back Cedric Benson wouldn’t be welcomed back in 2012. The team’s signing of BenJarvus Green-Ellis made Benson’s departure all but official.
In an item posted on the Bengals’ website Thursday, Benson bid the Bengals farewell.
“There are no hard feelings, I loved my time there,” said Benson, who has drawn little to no interest on the free agent market. “I can’t thank the fans enough for the way they supported me. I am so forever grateful for the recommendation that I think came out of Chicago and for Marvin [Lewis] believing in me and for the Brown family for giving me a chance.”
Benson’s goodbye was classy, and his tenure in Cincinnati should be considered a success. The former first-round pick had the look of an early-career bust with the Bears, but Benson turned his career around with the Bengals, rushing for over 1,000 yards in three of four seasons.
Benson remains upbeat, despite the glacially slow market for his services.
“I’m staying positive, optimistic,” he said.