The Cincinnati Bengals released running back Giovani Bernard on Wednesday after eight seasons and more than 6,500 yards from scrimmage.
Bernard, 29, played in 115 games (30 starts) for the Bengals since they drafted him in the second round in 2013. He rushed for 3,697 yards and 22 touchdowns and caught 342 passes for 2,867 yards and 11 scores.
The emergence of two-time 1,000-yard rusher Joe Mixon, 24, made Bernard expendable. Last September, Cincinnati gave Mixon a four-year, $48 million extension through the 2024 season.
NFL Network reported that Bernard requested his release. Other reports said the Bengals tried unsuccessfully to trade him and had asked him to take a pay cut. He was entering the final year of his contract and carried a $4.77 million cap hit, including $3.7 million in base salary.
Bernard ranks seventh in Bengals history in rushing yards, just ahead of Mixon (3,359).