Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine is headed to join the Denver Broncos.
Perine is reportedly set to sign a two-year deal worth $7.5 million with the Broncos, per NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo.
The Bengals are likely facing a total overhaul at running back with Perine’s departure. With Joe Mixon’s future in question, it’s unclear who the Bengals’ top-2 running backs will be in the upcoming season.
Mixon, 26, is under contract with the team through the 2024 season. Cincinnati can save roughly $10 million if they designate Mixon as a post-June 1 cut. After finishing No. 29 in rushing offense last season, the Bengals need better production in their run game.
Perine was a valuable player in Cincinnati’s offense. He showed his worth when he carried the load as the Bengals’ featured running back for two games. In the AFC championship against the Kansas City Chiefs in late January, Perine saw more snaps at 65 percent then Mixon at 35 percent.
One of Perine’s biggest strengths was his pass-blocking ability, especially on third down. It led to him being on the field more than Mixon often in these situations.
The Bengals will need to sign or draft a player who can fit that role in their offense. From the 2020 season to last year, Perine totaled 848 yards and six touchdowns.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Bengals Samaje Perine to Denver Broncos in NFL free agency