RB Peyton Barber Re-Signs with Buccaneers on 1-Year Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 18:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Peyton Barber #25 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers touchdown against the New York Giants on November 18, 2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Buccaneers 38-35.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced an agreement with running back Peyton Barber on a one-year contract extension shortly before Wednesday's start to the NFL free-agent period.

Barber, who could've become a restricted free agent if no deal was in place, led the Bucs with 871 rushing yards during the 2018 season. Financial details weren't immediately released.

The 24-year-old Georgia native signed with Tampa as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and steadily worked his way up the depth chart to earn the starting role last year.

Barber's 871 rushing yards in 2018 were more than his total from his first two seasons with the Buccaneers combined (646). He added five rushing touchdowns plus 20 receptions for 92 yards and a receiving score while playing in all 16 of the team's games.

Pro Football Focus graded him as the NFL's 44th-best running back for the 2018 campaign.

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians expressed excitement about Barber at a fan event after reviewing film from last season, per David Harrison of Bucs Nation.

"After watching him, we have a running back. And we have a big, strong, fast running back," Arians said, with many in the audience cheering his comment.

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Tampa Bay has Ronald Jones II, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, and Andre Ellington as internal competition at the position. The team could also look to add further depth in free agency or the draft.

The Auburn product owns a mere replacement-level average of 3.8 yards per carry across 397 attempts during his three years with the Bucs. That's likely why the Buccaneers didn't sign him to a long-term deal. The one-year pact gives them a season to evaluate him in Arians' offense.

Barber should receive a lion's share of the backfield work in 2019 barring an unexpected marquee addition.

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