Bernard was Cincinnati's second-round pick in 2013, and he's played 115 games for the Bengals while racking up 3,697 rushing yards, 2,867 receiving yards, and 33 total touchdowns.
The 29-year-old asked for his release after the Bengals approached him about a pay cut two weeks into free agency, a source told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Cutting Bernard will save the AFC North squad $4.1 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.
The veteran received trade interest prior to his release, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.
Bernard recorded his most touches (124 carries, 47 catches) since the 2015 season this past campaign with starter Joe Mixon unavailable for 10 games due to injury.