Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals strike contract


The Cincinnati Bengals used last month's draft to become more dynamic on offense, beginning with the selection of running back Giovani Bernard.

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The second-round pick out of North Carolina signed with the Bengals on Thursday, the team announced. Terms were undisclosed, but locking in Bernard leaves just two rookies -- first-rounder Tyler Eifert and third-rounder Shawn Williams -- unsigned by the Bengals.

Bernard was the first back taken in the draft, and should see plenty of work alongside veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Where "The Law Firm" provides the Bengals' offense with a meat-and-potatoes type, the speedier Bernard is expected to see work on the outside. The rookie also figures into the passing game as a threat who can damage a defense in open space.

Green-Ellis won't lose his starting job -- yet -- but Bernard is the Bengals' backfield future. Factor in the versatile Eifert, who figures to line up all over the field at tight end, and this Bengals offense looms as a potential headache for AFC North defenses.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.