The Bengals have released Giovani Bernard, per a club announcement. The move will save the team $4.1MM against the 2021 salary cap.
Bernard, 30 in November, still profiles as one of the league’s best pass-catching tailbacks. Last year, he managed 47 catches for 355 yards and three receiving touchdowns — his best line since 2017. Since 2013, Bernard has reeled in 342 grabs for 2,867 yards, good for an 8.4 yards per catch average.
Last year, Bernard saw more carries than expected while Joe Mixon was injured, but he wasn’t all that productive on the ground, gaining 416 yards on 124 carries. Bernard’s always been better known for his receiving abilities, but his 3.4 yards per tote average was well below his career average of 4.0 yards.
The Bengals recently re-upped Samaje Perine, a sign that Bernard would be pushed out of the picture. The veteran was aware of that too — he actually requested his release so that he could hook on elsewhere, according to a source who spoke with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com on Twitter).
Bernard was set to enter his final year under contract with $3.7MM in base salary and a $4.76MM cap hit. The Bengals will save $4.1MM of that sum with $667K in dead money.
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