In Paul Dehner Jr.’s “This Week in Bengals” article he says, “I can confirm there are no plans to trade (Giovani) Bernard. In fact, if anything were to happen with Bernard it would be an extension as he enters his contract year.”
In a previous article, we traced the origins of the trade rumors, It appears that the combination of Bernard’s agent being in town and Bengals fans hopes that the team is involved in trade talks to possibly improve the offensive line led to the two topics being perceived as connected by some. Perhaps they shouldn’t have been. I followed up with Paul Dehner Jr. after the initial rumors began, and he kindly replied with the following tweet.
If you are unfamiliar with Dehner Jr.’s work, he takes particular pride in ensuring he gets solid information from the team before confirming or denying any rumors. This is why he was ranked so highly in my Bengals Content Creator article.
So what does this mean? The fans of Giovani Bernard can breathe easier knowing that there is no trade eminent. However, his contract will remain a topic of discussion throughout the season. This is the last year of his deal. Still, there’s no reason to think that if the team continues to value Bernard’s veteran leadership, that both sides won’t get an extension worked out.
Finally, all of the hype and positivity surrounding rookie running back Trayveon Williams added to the speculation that the team may not need Giovanni Bernard in the future. However, the team intending to keep the six year veteran means that Cincinnati could be going into the season with a stable of running backs that has a rare balance of talent, youth, and veteran leadership.
Diverse stables of running backs have been utilized by both the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles during their most recent Super Bowl campaigns. If the team does eventually extend Bernard, it could be viewed as an attempt to imitate that model.