Bengals Free Agency

Jeremy Hill signs with Patriots

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LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 27: Running back Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against the Washington Redskins in the first half during a preseason game at FedExField on August 27, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 27: Running back Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against the Washington Redskins in the first half during a preseason game at FedExField on August 27, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill has signed with the New England Patriots.

Cincinnati Bengals starting running back Jeremy Hill signed with the New England Patriots Friday evening. He will be joining Rex Burkhead who left the Bengals and signed with the Patriots last offseason. Burkhead just re-signed with the team this week.

The Bengals decided to move on from Hill after the 2017 season. The team spent their second-round pick in 2017 on running back Joe Mixon. Hill was the starter in 2017 regardless of the team spending good draft capital on Mixon. After Hill chose to have season-ending surgery on his ankle in November.

Head coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals organization were surprised when Hill decided to have the surgery when a couple physicians said that it could wait till after the season. Before heading to injured reserve, Hill played in seven games for the Bengals only getting 37 attempts rushing for 116 yards.

Hill’s rookie season was the only time that the 25-year-old reached 1,000 yards on the ground with 1,124 and a 5.1 average. The next 3 years in Cincinnati Hill failed to reach a 4.0-yard average and 1,000 yards. While he had 11 rushing touchdowns in 2015, the only thing fans will remember from him that year is his mistake in the wild-card round of the playoffs when he fumbled with 1:36 left in the 4th quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Even though Hill was the starting running back in the first seven games of the season, he lost a significant amount of playing time to Mixon. Hill played in the first drive of each half and rarely saw the field after that. It’s fair to say that the Bengals were ready to move on from Hill and into the new era of their rookie acquired in the draft.

Taking to Twitter saying goodbye shows that Hill is fully expecting to be starting in a new city next season.

Hill also tweeted out on Wednesday evening with a video of him training and saying he’s ready to go. It seems that he is embracing this opportunity to start somewhere fresh. Showing the league that he is going to be healthy and ready to play.

Mixon will be the lead back in 2018 as Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin spoke very highly of Mixon and his upcoming roles for the team in 2018 at the NFL Combine.Fans were frustrated in 2017 that Mixon was not receiving more snaps from the beginning of the season. The rookie finished the season with 626 yards and 4 touchdowns while also having 30 receptions for 287 yards to compliment his running game.

Giovani Bernard will backup Mixon in 2018 after rushing for 458 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2017. He also caught 43 passes for 389 yards and 2 touchdowns. The two backs should compliment each other well moving forward but they will need some help from the offensive line. The Bengals ranked 29th in 2017 for rushing attempts between all backs largely due to lack of offensive line productivity.

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