Green Bay Packers Sign Former Bears Running Back Cedric Benson

ATLANTA - FILE: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 24, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. According to reports on July 31, 2011 the Bengals will re-sign Benson to a one year deal. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Cedric Benson is returning to the NFC North, as ESPN reports he has signed a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers.

The Chicago Bears will have yet another familiar face lining up opposite them at least two times this season: veteran running back Cedric Benson. ESPN is reporting that Benson has signed a one-year deal with the NFC North-rival Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is hurting for running back help right now, with James Starks, Brandon Saine and Alex Green all being injured or banged up in some way.

Ryan Grant was the guy in the Green Bay backfield for some time, while the Packers have mostly concentrated on their passing game. Benson does add an interesting wrinkle to their high-powered offense, as the latter part of his career has been stellar to say the least. He's rushed for 1,000 yards or more in each of the last three years, all with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Benson's least-productive years came over his first three seasons ... where he played with the Chicago Bears. He never broke 200 yards in a season in Chicago and only started 12 games over three seasons. Keep in mind he was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, so was regarded as a significant disappointment for the Bears. Chicago will see Benson in Week 2 and in Week 15 this season.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears, be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. And drop by SB Nation's NFL news hub for more updates and commentary from around the league.

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