Given his age and off-the-field reputation, Cedric Benson might not receive much love on the free-agent market. But that certainly seems to be where he's headed.
Benson hasn't heard from the Bengals since the season ended and said Tuesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he's unclear where he stands with the organization.
"I'm not sure," Benson said, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. "We haven't had any talks about a new deal."
Though he crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the third consecutive season, Benson lacked the speed and elusiveness expected from a primary running back. He averaged less than 4 yards per carry for the fourth time in five seasons, summoning unpleasant memories of late-period Eddie George.
"We had a chance to establish an identity, and we kind of got in our rhythm at times and there were times that were tough," he said, apparently discounting the fact Cincinnati went from 4-12 in 2010 to 9-7 in 2011. "You can look at the statistics. We didn't stick on what the offense was built on. When we had Carson (Palmer) and Chad (Ochocinco), we kept a strong identity in the run game, and we kind of got away from it and didn't let that part of the offense grow and bit the bullet on it a little bit."
It's increasingly apparent Benson has played his last game with the Bengals, but he remains confident another opportunity is just around the corner.
"I'm definitely looking forward to much better things than what we had last offseason," he said. "As long as I keep things straight here in the offseason, everything will be all right."
Of course, the ability to "keep things straight" is easier said than done for some.