The running back and his coach expressed pure happiness that this deal got done, with Bernard stating "it's a dream come true." While head coach Marvin Lewis added "we're excited about the great things Gio will continue to add to our offense."
Bernard became the star in the backfield this past season while starter Jeremy Hill struggled. Many wanted the then-backup to start due to his double-threat, as he caught 49 passes for 472 yards. In 154 carries he did not fumble, and averaged 4.7 yards. His teammate, Hill, congratulated him on the deal with a tweet that said "Congrats bro."
Despite the numerous cries from the team's faithful for Bernard to start, the Bengals decided to keep their starter the same, other than in Week 15 for the start of the game against the 49ers. Bernard ran for 33 yards on 14 carries, while Hill compiled 31 yards in 19 attempts. This new deal may lead to more playing time for the 24-year-old out of North Carolina.