We already knew that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought highly of Peyton Barber. Now, it’s indisputable that Barber is going to be a very valuable part of their 2018 running attack, and maybe, for years beyond.
This is because, the Bucs got rid of two-time Pro Bowl veteran running back Doug Martin already on Tuesday. And it means Tampa Bay doesn’t have another feature running back in the fold besides Barber, right now.
The most compelling part of the argument for Barber to see more playing time as 2018 rolls on, is how hard and effective he ran in the late stages of the 2017 season.
Starting with the Green Bay game in December, when Barber ran 23 times for 102 yards, it was apparent that the team wanted to give him more of a look at the end season. He finished in the final four games rushing for at least 50 yards in all of them and averaging over 4 yards per carry in all of them.
While the numbers are not spectacular, they demonstrated the potential that Barber has.
Here’s another thing that’s in his favor: with the Bucs retaining Dirk Koetter as the head coach, Barber has been in the system for the last couple of years. And, not only with familiarity of the playbook, but the fact that he’s shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield and pass block within that system, puts in ahead of whomever the Bucs will like to bring in- free agent or draft pick.
Another thing in Barber’s favor is he’s cost-effective. As an un-drafted player, he’s currently making the league minimum ($540,000 last year), and we’ll see if the Bucs reward him a little bit beyond that.
However, they’re certainly won’t be needing to give him a massive contract for 2018.
Not everyone on your team as a superstar, and makes multi-million dollars. You have to have productive players that work hard and fit under the cap.
Barber has a check in the yes box for all of those things for the Bucs.
And, with the highly paid former #1 back now gone, he’s the biggest benefactor.
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