In the wake of a devastating knee injury to rookie running back, Rodney Anderson, the Bengals decided it was time to issue some security to the running back position.
Giovani Bernard received a contract extension today that locks him up through the 2021 season:
Bernard has never been a workhorse back for the Bengals. He hasn't eclipsed 170 rushes in a single season, and his career-high in touches came all the way back in 2013 during his rookie year.
Giovani Bernard's role has decreased since the team added Joe Mixon in the 2nd round in 2017. As a result, Bernard saw just 56 carries and 35 receptions last season - both career lows.
Bernard's yearly value topping $5 million dollars seems like a lot for a backup running back with a decreased workload. However, his signing gives the Bengals much a much-needed insurance policy in the event of a Joe Mixon injury.
Samaje Perine and rookie Trayveon Williams round out the running back depth, but with Perine averaging just 3.5 yards in his career and Williams having no experience, locking up Bernard was a must at this point.
Gio Bernard isn't an electrifying player, but he has always been solid when called upon, and he boasts a respectable 4.2 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per catch in his career.
With such little depth, Bernard may serve a slightly larger role in 2019. Let's just hope nothing happens to Joe Mixon this year.