Almost any Bengals fan can attest to the value Perine brings in the backfield. We all saw it throughout the year, but especially in those few games that Mixon missed during the middle of the season.
In that three-game stretch starting with Pittsburgh in Week 11 when Jodein was out by halftime and Samaje took over and ending with a thrilling victory over the Chiefs in Week 13, the bearded back put up great numbers.
Three hundred all-purpose yards with four touchdowns -- three of those through the air vs. the Steelers in the Bengals' first game out of the BYE week, Perine helped revive a running game that had been struggling (aside from the game against Carolina) up until that point, leading Cincinnati to three big wins, two on the road and one at home against the eventual Superbowl champion.
The best part is Perine isn't a one-trick pony. He gets it done on the ground, through the air and is even a force in pass-blocking. Moral of the story: Denver got themselves a back.
I've always been a fan of Perine and I'm sad to see him go, but I'm happy another team sees what they have in him. According to Perine himself, Denver was more upfront about playing time and his role in their offense, and he'll likely end up having a bigger impact in that offense out west than he did in Cincy.
With an offense that has seen improvement through free agency, under a legendary Super Bowl-winning coach, and with him likely being relied on the most to keep the wheels of their running game moving, I can envision Samaje having a big year in Denver, probably his best year since his rookie year.
Who are some former Bengals you think will thrive on new teams in 2023?