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Bengals release RB Giovani Bernard after eight seasons

After eight seasons with the Bengals, Giovani Bernard's run in Cincinnati is over.

The team released the running back Wednesday.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo added that Bernard asked for his release, which the club granted, per a source informed of the situation.

The Bengals asked Bernard to take a pay cut two weeks into free agency, per Garafolo. The team also looked into trading the running back.

An underutilized dual-threat back, Bernard compiled 921 carries over eight seasons with the Bengals, generating 3,697 yards and 22 TDs. A dynamite pass-catcher, the 5-foot-9 RB added 342 receptions for 2,867 yards and 11 additional scores.

Cincinnati saves $4.1 million on the salary cap by cutting the veteran.

With his ability in the passing game and reliability as a runner in a committee, Bernard shouldn't have difficulty landing a new gig. A club looking for a third-down back could find a bargain in the 29-year-old Bernard, who still has tread left on the tires. Bernard is also one of the best pass-protecting backs in the entire NFL, a trait that many teams covet in their backup RBs.

Cutting Bernard now makes running back depth a need for the Bengals. Joe Mixon remains one of the top-flight backs in the NFL, with game-breaking ability. Samaje Perine impressed coaches for stretches last season and should climb the depth chart. A pass-catching back is now a need for the Bengals, which could look to the draft to fill the new void.

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