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Bengals RB Trayveon Williams foresees 'bigger role' heading into 2023 season

With Samaje Perine signing in Denver, the door has opened for snaps in the Cincinnati Bengals backfield. Trayveon Williams hopes to walk through.

"In years past, it's kind of been scratching and clawing just to stay on the team," he recently told the team's official website. "Now there's a bigger opportunity with a little opening in the running back room. A bigger role. A bigger adjustment. I think I'm ready to make that adjustment."

A sixth-round pick out of Texas A&M, where he broke the single-season rushing record, Williams spent his first four seasons in Cincy playing primarily on special teams. He re-signed with the Bengals this offseason on a one-year, $1.2 million deal in hopes of filling the void left by Perine behind Joe Mixon.

"There were some other teams coming at me," Williams said. "I just made what I felt was the best decision for my future. I kind of dug my feet in and helped build the foundation here. It shows I'm buying in. They trust me like I trust them. It's a mutual decision. They wanted me back as much as I wanted to be back."

Williams has just 47 career carries for 238 yards, the bulk of that production (20 totes for 157 yards) coming in 2020. In 2022 he saw six carries for 30 yards.

Despite the lack of production, running backs coach Justin Hill has talked up Williams' smarts and potential in the past, particularly noting the 25-year-old's blitz pickup acumen -- an essential requirement for a Bengals RB and the reason he could see the field over Chris Evans.

With a deep draft class at the running back position, the Bengals could target a mid-to-late round runner to add to their backfield, particularly with Mixon's murky future and recent legal questions, and the loss of Perine. Williams' potential role in the offense will have more clarity once the draft passes.

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