“No better friend, teammate and mentor than @G_bernard25. I’ll always cherish our time together and can’t thank him enough for all he has meant to my career. Wherever he goes is getting a great player and even better person,” is the way Bengals running back Joe Mixon tweeted it.
The move also closes a chapter of sorts and continues to usher in Joe Burrow’s new wave.
In the last three weeks the team has seen the departure of three captains, beginning with wide receiver A.J. Green and defensive tackle Geno Atkins and now Bernard. Only tight end C.J. Uzomah, punter Kevin Huber and long snapper Clark Harris are left from the 2015 Wild Card Game, the last play-off outing for the Green-Andy Dalton Bengals.
Bernard was also the last vestige of the Carson Palmer Era. Bernard was drafted with the 35th pick, one of the draft choices the Bengals received from Oakland when they traded Palmer in 2011.
It was the veterans from his time that he praised. From left tackle Andrew Whitworth to wide receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamad Sanu.
“I wanted to be a mentor,” Bernard said. “When I came in, I had some. Guys like Whit, Jermaine Gresham. Guys like Andy, Mo, Marvin. So many other guys that gave me the blueprint of being that type of teammate. It’s just not something I had in myself. It’s the guys that have been around this organization for years…