Today, the Cincinnati Bengals and Giovani Bernard sat down to agree to a new deal that would keep the running back in the Jungle for many years. Bernard is receiving a three-year deal worth $15.5 mil, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Now, it was vital for the Bengals to retain Bernard’s services, as they already lost two key contributors on offense to other teams in the off-season. They lost Marvin Jones to the Detroit Lions and Mohamed Sanu to the Atlanta Falcons. Now, those are receivers, but Bernard is more of a receiving running back, which he could line up as a receiver once in a while. Bernard is a versatile back that can do it all, but he makes his money on third downs.
Interestingly, it will be another fun year in camp for Bengal fans. Why? Well competition is the best way to push each other and to solve problems. It will be Jeremy Hill versus Giovani Bernard in camp for the starting running back job, which Hill seems like the one to win it, as he is more of a first and second down back, but mostly, it will be a situational problem on who will see snaps. Hill did struggle last year with fumbles and being able to hit the hole on a consistent level, which allowed Bernard to steal multiple amount of snaps.
Finally, the 24-year-old back has produced incredible numbers in the passing game since his rookie season, which he caught 148 receptions for 1,335 yards in three seasons. Only standing 5’9″ tall, he has proven to be durable on offense to be able to run inside the tackles (4.7 yards per carry in 2015) to keep defenses on their toes. Lastly, in 2015, the Tar Heel product produced 730 rushing yards on 153 attempts and scored twice. Also, he caught 49 passes for 472 yards (9.6 yards per catch).