Jun 16, 2011
Even though the lockout remains intact, rumors of player movement continue to swirl despite teams being unable to (legally) discuss contracts or trades. In an effort to be on top of any potential moves once the lockout is lifted, we’ve continued to monitor player workouts, reports, and rumors from around the league, a few of which we’ll pass along today.
Benson shows interest in returning to Bengals … after working out with the team at the University of Cincinnati on Wednesday. Benson, who is technically a free agent, has reportedly attended multiple player-led workouts, which he called “an opportunity to get some real good football work in.” After voicing frustration with the offense and his role during and after the season, it didn’t appear that he’d return to the team for the 2011 season, but with the firing of OC Bob Bratkowski and subsequent hiring of Jay Gruden to take over the offense, Benson looks interested in returning to the black and orange. Gruden talked with Benson in February, explaining that his vision for the offense, a West Coast system, would feature a commitment to the running game, which wasn’t the case under Bratkowski in 2010. From what he’s seen of the new playbook, Benson said the ground game is based more around downhill and between-the-tackle running instead of runs to the outside. He’s been impressed with how QBs Andy Dalton and Jordan Palmer have shown a grasp of the new offense and believes the changes made in the off-season provide a “fresh start.” Thanks to the lockout, Benson believes he’s been able to do extra training to be ready, noting that the lockout should provide players with a chance to come into the season in great shape. Unlike his previous years with the team, Benson thinks a return to the Bengals would see him change his ways when it comes to expressing himself instead of being passive.
- The latest set of labor talks concluded in Maryland on Wednesday with the two sides scheduled to meet again soon. Reportedly, the two sides have considered concessions that would help a deal get done, although optimism was tempered after it seemed to get a little too high earlier in the week. Expectations for the ability to resume football activities have ranged anywhere from two weeks to a month, although just about everything points to no time being lost and the season, including training camp, starting on time.
- Here’s a sign that the lockout is going too long: The Eagles are reportedly interested in Redskin DL Albert Haynesworth, Saint RB Reggie Bush, and free agent WR Plaxico Burress. We’re still awaiting word on whether or not they’ve contacted Joe Montana to backup Michael Vick or Barry Sanders to return kicks.