Cedric Benson Leaving the Cincinnati Bengals?

For the past four seasons Cedric Benson has been a Cincinnati Bengal, but with three weeks left before he becomes a free agent, there is no indication that he will stay with the team.

The running back told Sirius NFL Radio that he and the Bengals "haven't had any talks about a new deal, re-signing or anything like that to my knowledge. I'm not sure where things are laying up there in Cincinnati."

It seems Cincinnati has a few good reasons for not re-signing Benson -- starting with his performance at the end of last season. He fumbled the ball five times in just two games, and in the playoffs, the team barely used Benson.

The desire for separation is not just one-sided. Benson has reason to be less than completely happy with how the Begals offense used him over the past season. The Bengals were noticeably less reliant on a running game at the end of last season. In their loss to the Ravens and the Texans, Benson only had 20 carries for 71 yards.

Benson also noticed his diminishing role on the team. Of the team's turn away from a running game, Benson said, "I just think we didn't stick with what the offense was built on. Since I've been there the past four years we've ran the football to try and win games. Even when we had Carson [Palmer] and Chad [Ochocinco] we still 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 [during this past season]."

Then, of course, there are off-the-field reasons the Bengals may be seeking a separation from Cedric Benson. Last season Benson had to serve jail time and was dealt a one game suspension for his misdemeanor assault conviction in Texas.

While it is unclear who will pick Benson up for the 2012-2013 season, it is becoming quite clear that he will not be staying with the Bengals.