Bernard and the team have agreed to a two-year extension through the 2021 season, the team announced Tuesday. According to NFL Network, the deal is worth $10.3 million and includes $600,000 guaranteed, to be paid in March 2020.
The seventh-year player out of North Carolina was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. But even with the rise of running back Joe Mixon, Bernard has maintained an integral role in the offense. In 2018, he caught 35 passes for 218 yards, in addition to his 56 rushing attempts for 211 yards. In six seasons with the Bengals, Bernard has appeared in 83 games and made 18 starts.
Under the terms of his previous deal, Bernard was set to receive $4.5 million this year. That will increase to $5.9 million, according to the NFL Network.
Bernard’s is the second notable extension Cincinnati’s front office issued during the offseason. In July, wide receiver Tyler Boyd signed a four-year extension worth $43 million.
“Gio is a guy we can count on,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “He’s been a dependable, steady back in this league for a long time. He’s a great leader for this team, so we feel it’s very important to have him around in the years to come.”