Cedric entertaining thoughts of big money

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Reports that 27-year-old Bengals running back Cedric Benson is about to cash in following his productive 2009 season with Cincinnati are gaining traction.

Both the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Dayton Daily News reported that representatives for Benson approached the Bengals regarding an extension and the organization is open to the idea, that the sides are engaged in preliminary discussions.

Benson was thought of as being on the downside of his career after disappointing in Chicago and the feeling was that the Bengals were taking a risk by signing him.

Benson, though, rebounded from a mediocre 2008 to rush for 1,251 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games last year.

Naturally, Benson and his representatives want to cash in and re-up for a two-to-three year extension.

The Bengals, with a healthy and productive Benson, appear to have the tools to be a playoff contender in 2010. He is currently a big cog in their offensive machine.

The question is do the Bengals push it and roll the dice one more time?

As good as Benson was in 2009, though, the wise move would be to pass on the idea. Squeezing more years out of older running backs in most cases is a losing proposition.

TROLLING FOR TROJANS

You knew this had a good chance of happening as the Seattle Seahawks claimed safety Kevin Ellison off waivers from San Diego.

It comes a day after the Chargers released Ellison following his arrest on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance -- Vicodin pills.

Ellison is a former Southern California Trojan which means he is back playing for Pete Carroll.

If Carroll had his way, every player on the Seahawks would be a player he coached at USC.

TROUBLE FOR TAYLOR

Lawrence Taylor has really made a mess of his life following an outstanding career in the NFL.

On Wednesday, the former New York Giants great was indicted by a suburban New York grand jury on charges of rape, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse. He also was indicted on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and patronizing a prostitute.

The indictment follows his May 6 arrest at a hotel where prosecutors claim he paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him.

The girl in question said she had been verbally threatened and physically assaulted and was brought to the hotel by a pimp who was later arrested.

Even if he is found to be innocent, Taylor's post-NFL career as a commentator or spokesman is over.

A TITAN CURSE?

The Tennessee Titans thought they may have tapped another Jevon Kearse when they drafted defensive end Derrick Morgan with the 16th pick in the draft. It was 11 years ago when they picked Kearse with the 16th overall pick and perhaps lightning would strike twice.

But then things started to go south.

Since the draft, Morgan was arrested for speeding and driving with a suspended license and in the OTA's he has been hobbled by minor injuries to his hamstring and to his calves.

Coach Jeff Fisher, though, says not to worry.

"We could choose to get him out here and try to do the drills and subject him to a setback potentially,'' Fisher said. "We decided we're just going to wait. We'd rather have him training 100% in the month of July and coming to camp.''

Morgan says he's doing what he can and that he'll be ready to go when it counts.

"I'm really being a student of the game right now,'' Morgan said. "I'm trying to learn the mental part of things, learning the plays and things like that."

Well, that's great.

It's early in Morgan's career and all, but in sports it seems like when things start rolling against you, they don't stop.

CHAMP OR CHUMP?

In Denver, cornerback Champ Bailey has one year left on his contract, and like Benson, wants an extension now.

"Are we disappointed the Broncos have not approached us about a contract extension? Obviously, we are," Bailey's agent Jack Reale told the Denver Post. "A player of Champ's calibre deserves to have the option of an extended contract."

Bailey is 32 years old and in 2010 will receive a base salary of $9.5 million US plus a $3-million roster bonus so it's not a matter of being underpaid.

Now it appears that Bailey's representatives are willing to play hardball in their negotiations -- pay now or see you later.

"We hope the Broncos come to us sooner rather than later about a contract extension before the die is cast in another direction," Reale said.

Bailey may be a better bet than Benson.

MIKE.RUTSEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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