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Cincinnati Bengals Extend RB Giovani Bernard

The Cincinnati Bengals have locked up one of their young playmakers to a new three-year contract.

Cincinnati Bengals fans will get the chance to watch Giovani Bernard wreak havoc for their squad for many years to come. According to a report from USA Today's Tom Pelissero, Bernard and the Bengals have agreed on a three-year contract worth $15.5 million through the 2019 season. The contract appears to be front loaded, as $6 million is guaranteed in 2016.

Bernard was originally owed over $1.6 million from his rookie contract before signing a deal that will run through his 28th birthday. Pro Football Focus ranked Bernard the 24th best running back in the league. His ability as a receiver as ranked much higher than a runner, which makes him so valuable with Jeremy Hill

Selected out of North Carolina in 2013, Bernard has been a threat in the Bengals dual-running back system alongside Jeremy Hill. The second-round pick has started only 10 games in his three NFL seasons, but has 17 combined touchdowns in 39 career games. 

Last season he had a career-high 730 rushing yards on 154 attempts. He also had 473 receiving yards in the 2015 season. He set career highs with 4.7 yards per catch and 9.6 yards per reception.

Despite battling hip, shoulder and rib injuries in 2014, Bernard has proven to be a valuable piece to the Bengals dynamic offense. With wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones leaving in free agency, the Bengals could rely more on the running game.

Cincinnati still has Jeremy Hill, a second-round pick out of LSU in 2014, with two more years remaining on his rookie contract before they have to make a decision on his future.

Marvin Lewis's squad is currently in the third round of voluntary OTAs and will open mandatory mini-camp June 14 as they look to win their first playoff game since 1990.

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