This comes as no surprise as Peerman has been a favorite of the coaches due to his role on special teams. No other team has reportedly shown any interest, so re-signing the veteran running back seemed inevitable.
Peerman missed most of the 2016 season after breaking his forearm in the preseason. He was chosen to come off of Injured Reserve late in the season after the team was considering William Jackson III for that as well. But, running back was a far greater need than cornerback with Giovani Bernard (ACL) and Jeremy Hill (neck, knee) both injured during the season. Bernard’s injury was season ending in Week 11, triggering Peerman’s Week 12 return to the 53-man roster.
Peerman’s role in Cincinnati has been exclusively on special teams, both as a coverage guy and a blocker on the return units. He excels in both roles and was even a Pro Bowl special teams selection in 2015.
Even though it would be rare for the Bengals to give a ninth-year running back any offensive touches, his value is still very high to this team, so seeing him brought back comes as no surprise.
This still may not guarantee Peerman has a spot on the 53-man roster for the 2017 season. With Hill and Bernard still on the roster, the Bengals are also expected to draft a running back in this year’s draft, possibly even two.
However, Bernard is recovering from a torn ACL and could to open the season on PUP, meaning he won’t count against the 53-man roster. That’s why Peerman’s chances of making the initial 53-man roster are high for the time being. And with Hill’s contract set to expire in 2018, it’s possible Peerman remains in Cincinnati for several more years, even at 30 years of age (turns 31 in September).
With Rex Burkhead, the Bengals’ special teams tackling leader from 2016, and James Wright, who ranked second in special teams tackles, now gone from the Bengals’ roster, re-signing Peerman for his role on special teams was likely an easy decision for the Bengals to make.