Bengals sign RB Giovani Bernard

You’ve got to love the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement. Gone are the days of rookie holdouts over contracts. Get them signed and get them started with the team program, especially now that training camps have fewer practices and fewer reps available.

The Bengals are now down to two unsigned picks out of their class of 10 as second-round running back Giovani Bernard signed Thursday morning. The only ones left unsigned are first-rounder Tyler Eifert and third-rounder Shawn Williams.

Bernard was the 37th overall pick and the fifth player chosen in the second round of this year’s draft. The Bengals got the pick as part of the Carson Palmer trade with Oakland two years ago. Bernard is expected to be the speed complement to starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield this season.

From the Bengals:

The Bengals today signed HB Giovani Bernard of North Carolina,  one of their two second-round selections in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Bernard displayed multiple rushing and receiving skills in college and offers promise of a new dimension for the Bengals offensive scheme. He scored 31 touchdowns in just two seasons at North Carolina and established a career record for yards-per-rush (5.9). He totaled 2481 rushing yards and added 852 as a receiver. He averaged 107.9 rushing yards per game and 144.9 scrimmage yards per game.

“Giovani is a dynamic guy, both running the football and catching it,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “And he was one of North Carolina’s hardest-working guys on the team, so he fits the mold of guys we like – not only good, but extremely hard-working.”

The Bengals have now signed eight of their 10 selections from the 2013 draft. Signed previously were DE Margus Hunt of Southern Methodist (second round), LB Sean Porter of Texas A&M (fourth round), G Tanner Hawkinson of Kansas (fifth round), HB Rex Burkhead of Nebraska (sixth round), WR Cobi Hamilton of Arkansas (sixth round), OT Reid Fragel of Ohio State (seventh round) and C T.J. Johnson of South Carolina (seventh round).