The Cincinnati Bengals are locking up one of their running backs for another two seasons.
According to Tom Pelissero, the Bengals are signing running back Giovani Bernard to a two-year, $10.3 million extension. He will get a raise to $5.9 million this year and $11 million in all, which includes a $600,000 guaranteed bonus.
Bernard has spent the past six seasons with the Bengals, and has recently been placed in a reserve role. With the emergence of Joe Mixon over the past two seasons, Bernard has seen a decrease in his touches, but is still a versatile weapon that first year head coach Zac Taylor plans on utilizing.
Bernard was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In his first season, he rushed for 695 yards on 170 carries and scored five touchdowns while the Bengals finished with an 11-5 record and made the playoffs. He also was efficient in the passing game, recording 514 receiving yards on 56 catches and scored three touchdowns.
The arrival of coach Taylor supposedly marks the arrival of a certain explosiveness this Bengals offense has not had in quite some time. Like every other weapon, Bernard hopes to see a boost in his numbers as the offensive game plan now takes a front seat in Cincinnati.
Mixon has taken over as the main workhorse for the Bengals, and recorded his first 1,000-yard rushing season last year. Bernard has been able to bring consistency to the backfield over the past six seasons, however, and has rushed for 3,111 yards, recorded 2,278 yards through the air and scored 27 touchdowns over 83 career games.
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