6 possible trade partners for Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard

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Chris Roling
·4 min read
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The Cincinnati Bengals could have an interesting trade chip in running back Giovani Bernard.

Bernard, alongside C.J. Uzomah, has been a consistent name we’ve brought up as a long-shot trade or cut candidate simply because of the cap space the moves would create. Now, a rumor has officially gone out that the Bengals have taken trade calls on Bernard.

That in mind, here’s a look at a few trade partners that would make sense for Bernard.

Arizona Cardinals

Dec 27, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball against Houston Texans cornerback Keion Crossen (35) during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals lost Kenyan Drake in free agency and have gone all-in from a cap perspective with names like J.J. Watt and former Bengals wideout A.J. Green. It might be a little more cost effective to just draft a replacement, but throwing a pick at the Bengals to get a proven guy as they try to win-now could be the move.

Miami Dolphins

Nov 1, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates after a touchdown run against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Miami has a treasure trove of draft picks and wouldn’t get hurt much by losing one to the Bengals. Bernard has had at least one epic game against the Dolphins in the past, so they’re fully aware of what he can do on the field. He’s also a brilliant culture guy for a rebuild.

New York Jets

Oct 13, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Also rebuilding, the Jets have tried to find a cornerstone running back and failed with names like Le’Veon Bell and don’t have much on the roster to speak of right now. Bernard would instantly be the best back on the roster and help in the locker room, too.

Washington Football Team

Nov 1, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates after a touchdown run against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gibson was a breakout in Washington last year, but did it on 170 attempts. If the team wants a smooth one-two punch, working in Bernard would provide a boost to a passing attack finally upgraded thanks to the trio of Terry McLaurin-Curtis Samuel-Adam Humphries.

Los Angeles Rams

Oct 25, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Why not move Bernard from a Zac Taylor offense to a familiar Sean McVay attack? The Rams used a second-round pick on Cam Akers last year and he was fine. Adding a versatile veteran like Bernard to the attack would only boost things as the team goes all-in around Matthew Stafford.

San Francisco 49ers

Jul 28, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs a drill during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers have been all-in on some odd gambles over the last few years, like paying up big for Jerick McKinnon and getting little back in return. Raheem Mostert is a quality starter but a one-two punch could put things over the top, especially in an offense that would use Bernard so much more.

Will a trade happen?

Oct 1, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Doubtful. If we’ve listed Bernard as a cut candidate since late last year, teams around the league know it too. The fact a report came out saying teams are calling -- suggesting they think he’ll eventually be cut -- is bad news for his trade value. Another incoming draft class, plus a solid free-agent class still featuring names like Todd Gurley and James Conner, could mean teams don’t want to trade for Bernard’s $4.8 million cap hit. Cutting or trading Bernard will save the Bengals roughly $4.2 million in space so that’s the likely avenue here, though keep the above teams in mind.

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