Bengals Release Veteran Running Back Giovani Bernard, Should the Patriots Have Interest?

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The Bengals have released longtime running back Giovani Bernard today in a move that will save them $4.1 million against the salary cap.  Bernard has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Cincinnati after being drafted in the second round back in 2013. 


Gio Bernard rushing the ball against the Texans / Courtesy of The Fantasy Authority 

Last season Bernard played all 16 games with the Bengals while starting ten of those games.  Overall, he had a disappointing season running the ball, gaining only 416 yards on 124 carries.  The veteran running back did have 47 catches for 355 yards. 


The Patriots have been in the market for another veteran running back, and Bernard might check that box for Bill Belichick.

Bernard and James White are close friends, which could help lure the veteran to Foxboro.  Bernard and White’s late father were close.  “He was a father to me,” said the former Bengals running back to ESPN in 2019. 


Both White and Bernard went to St. Thomas Aquinas High where their families were linked together.  When Bernard lost his mother to cancer and his father fell on hard times, the White’s welcomed Bernard into their home. 


“It was awesome to have somebody there for me.  He was a guy who taught you about discipline, about being on time for meetings, keeping your word, being a dependable person, doing the things that take you far in life. … If you think about a law enforcement father, that’s Mr. White.  When I stayed there, I was petrified of making a mistake because I never wanted to disappoint him.”


The Patriots will need to provide a blue print to Bernard on how he would be used in their offense in order for him to come to New England.  While there is a link between the two backs, that will not be enough to land the veteran. 


The Patriots, who have been extremely active this offseason, are expected to address the running back position.  New England does not lack depth at the position, but they have made it no secret they could look to add a veteran to the mix. 


Their roster currently features Damien Harris, Sony Michel, J.J. Taylor, Brandon Bolden.  White recently re-signed with the Patriots, leaving only Rex Burkhead, a former Bengal, as an unrestricted free agent.  Burkhead is recovering from knee surgery after tearing his ACL last season. 


The addition of Bernard makes sense for the Patriots and is a low risk move that shouldn’t cost a lot of money.  The Patriots have revamped their entire offense this offseason, adding Bernard as another weapon for quarterback Cam Newton isn’t entirely a bad thing. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Bengals Release Veteran Running Back Giovani Bernard, Should the Patriots Have Interest?
Bengals Release Veteran Running Back Giovani Bernard, Should the Patriots Have Interest?
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