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Bengals were aggressive in trying to retain Samaje Perine

The team wanted him, but he chose to move on.

Among the exciting additions for the Cincinnati Bengals in Free Agency were the departures of some fan favorites.

While he may not have as many big plays attached to him as the now departed Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, losing Samaje Perine to the Denver Broncos did sting a bit for Who Dey Nation. His three-touchdown performance last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and his screen pass turned touchdown to spark the Bengals’ 2021 AFC Championship game comeback are two things that come to mind.

Many fans wanted to see Perine back in stripes and per Paul Dehner Jr. on Hear That Podcast Growlin’, the Bengals front office did too.

“Now Samaje Perine, they made an aggressive play for, and I think they were surprised that he opted to go to Denver,” said Dehner. “I think they felt like that was one they were going to get done. They were willing to go just about anywhere within reason.”

It sounds as if moving on was more Perine’s decision than that of the Bengals' front office. The deals Bates, Bell, and tight end Hayden Hurst got from other teams appeared to be far out of the range Cincinnati was willing to offer, but Perine’s deal seemed reasonable. Denver signed Perine to a two-year, $7.5 million contract, with $3,000,000 fully guaranteed. For a second-string running back that sees the field quite often, the Bengals could have and were apparently prepared to pay it.

Does Perine see an even bigger role for himself in Denver? It seems Javonte Williams may be the only player on Denver’s roster who would challenge Perine for the role of lead back, so maybe he’s headed west to fight for a starting role.

All signs point to Joe Mixon being back in Cincinnati as the lead running back, so maybe Perine wants a better chance at a starting role.