Former Bengals standout Giovani Bernard announces retirement after 10 years in NFL: 'What a ride'

Giovani Bernard retired Friday after 10 seasons in the NFL. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Giovani Bernard retired Friday after 10 seasons in the NFL. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Cincinnati Bengals standout Giovani Bernard is calling it a career. Bernard announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday after 10 seasons in the league.

In a statement, Bernard thanked teammates, coaches and front office staffers for shaping his football journey.

His full statement read:

"10 years ago, I came into this league grateful. Grateful for what God has done for me to get to that moment and to celebrate all the obstacles that were overcome. And now fast forward 10 years, I leave humbled. Humbled by the experiences, relationship and memories that have shaped me during this time. I've had the privilege of crossing paths with exceptional men and women, including my brothers on the field, coaches who've taught me so much, and front office/staff who worked behind the scenes to make it all seamless. I offer my deepest thanks to you all. You've allowed me and my family to be a part of something truly special. We are forever grateful and feel truly blessed that this was part of our journey. As I look forward, I’m excited for the newness ahead. New challenges to face and new adventures to take. What a ride it’s been, but what a ride is to come. Thankful for you all. Much love! #RenewYourMind #JL"

Bernard was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of North Carolina. He showed immediate promise as a rookie, rushing for 695 yards and five scores and catching 56 passes for 514 yards with three receiving touchdowns.

Due to his slight build, Bernard remained in a dual role throughout his career with the Bengals. He was often paired with a bigger, bruising back — such as Jeremy Hill and Joe Mixon — which limited Bernard's carries. He made up for that by being a strong and reliable pass-catcher.

Bernard played a big role in the Bengals' success early in his career, as the team reached the playoffs in each of his first three seasons. The Bengals, however, failed to win a playoff game in that stretch.

Following the 2020 NFL season, Bernard signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He appeared in 12 games with the team in 2021 and caught three touchdowns. Bernard re-signed with the team prior to the 2022 season but was limited to eight games mostly due to injuries.

He finished his career with 3,783 rushing yards and 22 scores and added another 2,989 yards and 14 touchdowns as a receiver.