Rudi Johnson returned to the Bengals Tuesday, perhaps because nobody else wanted to pay the price to get him.
Cincinnati's leading rusher last year signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Bengals.
Any team could have matched the Bengals offer, but also would have had to give up first- and third-round draft picks as compensation to acquire the restricted free agent.
Johnson rushed for 957 yards and nine touchdowns last season. The former Auburn Tiger provided relief for an injured Corey Dillon. Johnson's emergence allowed the Bengals to trade Dillon to the Patriots just before the 2004 NFL Draft. Still, the Bengals drafted former Michigan running back Chris Perry with its first-round selection.