The Cincinnati Bengals have officially released running back Giovani Bernard after eight years with the franchise.
Bernard, a second-round pick out of North Carolina in 2013, was a productive role player during his tenure in Cincinnati. He finished his Bengals career with 3,697 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on 921 carries over 115 games.
Bernard made his greatest impact as a receiver out of the backfield, totaling 342 catches for 2,867 yards. His reception total is the most in team history for a running back.
In 2020, Bernard appeared in all 16 games, making a career-high 10 starts in place of Joe Mixon. He rushed for 416 yards and caught 47 passes for 355 yards.
We have released HB Giovani Bernard.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) April 7, 2021
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Bernard actually asked for his release from the Bengals. The team apparently asked him to take a pay cut earlier in free agency.
Gio Bernard asked for his release and the #Bengals granted it, source says. The team had asked him to take a pay cut two weeks into free agency, which hurt his chances of landing elsewhere. But he's expected to find a new gig soon.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 7, 2021
Bernard, 29, is getting old in running back years, but he still should be able to be a serviceable No. 2 or passing down back for a new team in 2021.