Cincinnati Bengals release veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis

CINCINNATI - The Bengals cut veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis Friday, just hours after rookie Jeremy Hill appeared to win his job.

Green-Ellis' days were numbered after the Bengals drafted Hill from LSU in the second round.

And Hill appeared to seal his fate when the rookie gained 160 yards - 90 rushing and 70 receiving - in Thursday night's 35-7 preseason victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Green-Ellis, 29, was set to make $3 million this season. He was in the final year of a three-year contract. 

The running back known as "The Law Firm" for his multiple names led the Bengals in rushing for his two seasons here. But his role was reduced last year when Giovani Bernard was added to the backfield.

Hill gives the Bengals a bruising runner and blocker as well as another pass-catcher.

Green-Ellis had the lowest average of his six-year career last season - 3.4 yards per carry, with a long of 25. He rushed for 756 yards and scored seven touchdowns.

He rushed for a career-high 1,094 yards and a 3.9 average in 2012 after signing with Cincinnati as a free agent.

“It’s very difficult to release such a fine player and person as BenJarvus,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He has been an exceptional player and teammate, as well as mentor to our younger players. He has also been a standout person in the community.

"We thank Bennie for all he has done and wish him the best of luck in the future,” Lewis said.

Green-Ellis played his first four seasons - 2008 to 2011 - with the New England Patriots.

He had a remarkable record with the Patriots - no fumbles in 510 carries.

He had five fumbles (four lost) in 494 carries with the Bengals.

The Bengals also released QB Tyler Wilson, LB Brandon Joiner and DT LaKendrick Ross.

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