Bengals agree to terms with running back from XFL

FILE - This Nov. 11, 2016 photo shows Florida State’s Jacques Patrick looking for running room against Boston College’s defense in an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla. After two years of being behind Dalvin Cook on the depth chart, Jacques Patrick is ready to take the lessons he learned from watching Cook and become Florida State’s lead running back this season. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

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FILE - This Nov. 11, 2016 photo shows Florida State’s Jacques Patrick looking for running room against Boston College’s defense in an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla. After two years of being behind Dalvin Cook on the depth chart, Jacques Patrick is ready to take the lessons he learned from watching Cook and become Florida State’s lead running back this season. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

The Cincinnati Bengals have added another young running back to their roster.

Free agent halfback Jacques Patrick agreed to a three-year deal with the Bengals on Friday, joining a running back room that includes fourth-year player Joe Mixon, eighth veteran Giovani Bernard and 2019 sixth-round draft picks Rodney Anderson and Trayveon William.

Patrick, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, was draft-eligible last year coming out of Florida State University, but did not sign an NFL contract, so he will be classified as a rookie in 2020. Earlier this year, he was a member of the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers and rushed 60 times for 254 yards and two touchdowns. Patrick appeared in 45 games with 13 starts for FSU during his four years there and rushed 366 times for 1790 yards (4.9) and 17 TDs.

The timing of the signing comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic indicating that Mixon, who rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, is prepared to hold out for a new contract as he enters the final season on his rookie deal. The Carolina Panthers gave Christian McCaffrey a four-year, $64 million extension Monday to raise the bar for running back contracts around the league.

Cincinnati gave Bernard a two-year extension worth $10.3 million in September and remains on contract through 2021. He went largely unused in the running game last year, finishing with 170 yards on 53 carries, but has proven a valuable addition to the backfield.

The Bengals still don’t know what exactly they have in Anderson and Williams, who both have yet to record an NFL carry.

Anderson impressed the home crowd at Paul Brown Stadium in the third preseason game last August, but four days later in the preseason finale, he re-tore the ACL he had repaired as a senior at Oklahoma one year prior. He missed the entire 2019 campaign, and Anderson has experienced one healthy season since graduating high school – a Heisman-like junior year with the Sooners.

Williams, who ranks second on Texas A&M’s all-time rushing list despite forgoing his senior year for the draft, began his rookie NFL season injured as well but ended up suiting up for 11 games and playing a role on special teams. He did not record a carry or a catch and played just seven snaps on offense.

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