Cedric Benson will probably commit his next criminal action in Green Bay! So, congratulations to the residents and bar owners there. The veteran running back’s best days are behind him but he will have a chance to outperform competition in Green Bay. This signing is reflective of the poor performance thus far in camp by incumbent starter James Starks. He has underwhelmed and Alex Green is coming off an ACL tear and while the organization is high on him he may not be ready to perform at 100% this year.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN seems to lean toward this being more of a depth move than bringing in competition for the starting position. He points out that the top two RBs on the depth chart behind James Starks before this move had a combined 21 NFL carries.
CBS is more optimistic and they say that Benson is an RB3 candidate.
FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN
We could ultimately see a combination of Benson and Alex Green getting most of the action. Benson is obviously a north/south runner while the second year Green is more east/west and stronger in the passing game. In any event, this move really hurts any hope James Starks owners had of him being a surprise RB2 or high end RB3. Having said that we think the assumption that Benson was brought in to start or because the Packers have completely lost faith in Starks is premature. Starks is still young (26) and while he may be struggling in camp the Packers committed to him in the off season and they aren’t the kind of organization that changes with the wind.
Benson is 29 years old but his runs like he is older and you can’t expect a 1,000 yard season even in the best case scenario or more than 4.0 yards per carry. The Packers are pass first but Benson is worth a late round flyer in our estimation but as no more than an RB4, same goes for Starks right now. The roles should become more clear before the end of the preseason but if you draft earlier our advice is not to place much stock in any Packer’s RB.