June 08, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Bengals sign Giovani Bernard to three-year, $15.5 million deal
The Cincinnati Bengals have signed running back Giovani Bernard to a three-year, $15.5 million contract, running through the 2019 season. Prior to the extension, Bernard for 2016 was in the final season of the four-year contract he signed as a Bengals second-round draft choice in 2013. Bernard (5-9, 205; North Carolina) has averaged 1,147 yards from scrimmage over his three Bengals seasons. He has rushed for 2105 yards (4.3 avg.) and had 1335 receiving yards on 148 catches (9.0). He has scored 17 touchdowns, 12 rushing and five receiving. He has played in 48 of a possible 51 games (including postseason), missing only three, due to injuries in 2014. “It’s great to be able to extend our commitment with Gio,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “It’s all a part of what I keep saying -- draft the right players, develop them, and retain them. We’re excited about the great things Gio will continue to add to our offense.” Last season, Bernard had a career-best 730 rushing yards and a 4.7 average, sharing opportunities in a tandem with running back Jeremy Hill. Bernard averaged a career-best 9.6 yards on receptions (49-472). “I love Cincinnati and want to be here for as long as I can,” Bernard said. “This moment is about having a future. It’s a secure feeling knowing I’ll be here and can help this team win. I can’t picture myself in anything but orange and black.” Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.