New running back Cedric Benson claims he turned down offers from two teams before signing with the Packers.
But the contract he signed doesn’t exactly scream leverage.
According to FoxSportsWisconsin.com’s Paul Imig, Benson said both the Lions and Raiders tried to sign him before he chose to go to Green Bay, saying “both teams needed backs.”
“They talk about a Super Bowl around here, not about winning their first playoff game,” Benson said.
They’re also apparently fiscally responsible, as they were able to arm-twist Benson into accepting a “split” contract, which reduces his salary if he ends up on injured reserve.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Benson’s deal included no bonus and the veteran minimum base salary of $825,000, which will drop to $393,000 if he’s hurt and lost for the year.
Splits are more common for younger players such as undrafted rookies, since they don’t have the leverage to demand full payment. McGinn noted that when the Packers signed Phillip Merling off the street in May, there was no split in the contract.
Benson’s been a durable player lately, missing just four games the last three years, all of which he finished with more than 1,000 yards. If he keeps that up, he’ll make his money this year. If he gets hurt, he might wish he’d have chosen another option.