Peyton Barber

NFC Contract Details: Funchess, Blythe, Redskins, Cardinals

We’ve got a handful of contract details to pass along. We’ll start with the latest NFC notes, all via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Packers): One year, $2.5MM. Includes $3.75MM in receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns incentives.
  • Austin Blythe, OL (Rams): One year. Worth $3.9MM, including $3.5MM guaranteed. $950K signing bonus, $2.95MM salary (of which $2.55MM is guaranteed).
  • Peyton Barber, RB (Redskins): Two year, $3MM. Includes $600K signing bonus. Salaries: $910K (2020), $1.14MM (2021). $150K per-game maximum roster bonus in 2020, $199K+ per-game maximum roster bonus in 2021.
  • Nate Orchard, LB (Redskins): Re-signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM. Includes $600K signing bonus, $3.1MM salary, $50K workout bonus.
  • Marcus Gilbert, OT (Cardinals): One year, $3.75MM. $1.05MM base salary (of which only $150K is guaranteed). Up to $2.7MM in playing time incentives.
  • Max Garcia, OL (Cardinals): Re-signed. One-year, $1.25MM deal, including $600K guaranteed. Up to $190K per-game maximum roster bonus, up to $1MM in playing time incentives.
  • Cameron Fleming, OL (Giants): Signed. One-year, $3.5MM deal (as opposed to previously-reported one-year, $4MM deal). Includes $2MM guaranteed. Up to $500K per-game roster bonus, up to $500K playing time incentives.
  • Kerry Hyder, DE (49ers): One year. $1.5MM, including $550K guaranteed. Up to $250K in per-game roster bonus.

Redskins To Sign RB Peyton Barber

Free agency action has resumed Tuesday afternoon, and another running back is off the board. Peyton Barber will sign with the Redskins, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

The former Buccaneers starter agreed to a two-year, $3MM deal that comes with $600K guaranteed, per Anderson. Barber will join Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice in a suddenly crowded Washington backfield. This deal may have been in the works for a few days, with The Athletic’s Greg Auman tweeting Sunday that Barber was finalizing a contract.

Barber started 28 games with the Bucs, 23 of those coming over the past two seasons, but fell out of favor during Bruce Arians‘ first season. The 26-year-old ex-UDFA started 16 games in Dirk Koetter‘s final season but lost his job to Ronald Jones last year. Barber, who led the Bucs in 2018 with 871 rushing yards, averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on 154 totes in 2019.

The Auburn alum has never topped 115 receiving yards in a season, however. With Peterson also mostly a run downs-only back, the Redskins appear set to devote at least half of their backfield resources to players who are not accomplished passing-game weapons.

In addition to their most notable incumbents, the Redskins also have the recently added J.D. McKissic and 2019 draftee Bryce Love in the fold. Their roster certainly will not have room for all five backs, which will make for an interesting competition when the Redskins reconvene for 2020 work.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Notes: Winston, Godwin, Howard

In addition to the thumb injury that we heard about in early January, Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was also playing through a torn meniscus for at least some of 2019, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports (video link). Per Rapoport, Winston recently had surgery to trim the meniscus tear.

Though Winston’s boom-or-bust tendencies remain an obvious concern, the toughness that he displayed in battling the injuries may help him land a new contract with Tampa, which may have winnowed down its quarterback options to Winston and Philip Rivers.

Now for more from the Bucs:

  • Standout receiver Chris Godwin is now eligible for an extension since he has completed three years in the league, but that is not a front-burner item on the Bucs’ agenda just yet, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. Auman says the club will look to take care of its 2020 FAs first and then see if there is money left in the budget for a new contract for Godwin. Barring something unforeseen, it would be a huge surprise if Tampa lets Godwin hit the open market in 2021.
  • There were rumors that the Bucs were looking to trade much-maligned TE O.J. Howard at the 2019 deadline, and though that did not happen, the former first-rounder was still viewed as a trade candidate this offseason. But as Auman notes, the club still believes in Howard, and it sounds like he will be back in 2020. Fellow TE Cameron Brate, however, could be a trade or release candidate.
  • The Bucs are very young at CB, which has led many to believe that the club will draft a corner with an early pick or sign one in the first wave of free agency, but that’s not necessarily the case. As Auman writes, Tampa is very high on Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, and Sean Murphy-Bunting, so a late-round pick or modest FA signing may be more likely.
  • Likewise, Tampa is bullish on its cadre of safeties, but 2017 second-rounder Justin Evans‘s stock is trending downward, per Auman. Evans has not been healthy enough to practice in a long time, and although the team hoped he would be fully recovered by April 1 and would participate in spring workouts at OTAs, it’s now unclear whether he will be back at all.
  • Unsurprisingly, it does not sound like the Bucs will look to re-sign free agent RB Peyton Barber, per Auman.

Buccaneers Sticking With Ronald Jones II

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told reporters that running back Ronald Jones II will remain the team’s starter even amidst his struggles, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com. Jones was benched during Week 13 for missing a blitz pickup and was replaced by Peyton Barber.

A second round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones spent all of his rookie season buried on the Bucs depth chart behind Barber-who started all 16 games last season. However, in a more prominent backup role this season, Jones clearly outperformed Barber and has been the team’s starter since Week 9. Jones has yet to translate his early season success, when he averaged 4.24 yards per carry, to the starting lineup, averaging just 3.29 yards per carry since. His struggles in pass protection though, seemed to be the final straw.

Barber and Jones have received a nearly identical number of carries this season (125 for Jones and 122 for Barber), but Tampa has remained committed to playing the hot hand regardless of who was in the team’s starting lineup. Still, at least for now, Jones remains the top running back on the Buccaneers depth chart.

Examining The Buccaneers’ RB Situation

Running back Ronald Jones was a disappointment for the Buccaneers and dynasty fantasy football players alike last year, as the 2018 second-rounder turned in a very quiet rookie campaign. The USC product did not displace Peyton Barber as Tampa Bay’s lead back, as many expected, and in fact played only 90 offensive snaps all season. Meanwhile, Barber started all 16 games and led the club in rushing yards for the second straight year, though he only managed 3.7 yards per carry.

Given that the Bucs did not do much to upgrade their RB room in free agency or the draft this year, Jones has a good opportunity to break out in his second professional season. And, as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes, Jones plans to do just that.

He said, “I just want to lead the team in rushing and be that player who can ignite the offense and things like that, because that’s who I am. I’m a playmaker. I just want that opportunity.”

To that end, Jones says he has put on 13 pounds of muscle. He added, “[l]ast year was a disappointment for me. I’m putting in the work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Unsurprisingly, Greg Auman of The Athletic believes that Jones is a lock to make the club, as there is no way the Bucs will give up on a second-round running back so quickly. However, Auman also notes that Barber has garnered plenty of praise from Tampa Bay’s coaching staff this year, and since Barber is eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career in 2020, he will be plenty motivated (Twitter link). In fact, Auman believes that Barber will lead the team in rushing for the third consecutive season, though he also notes (via Twitter) that Jones emerging as a solid complementary option would still be a big help to the offense.

Auman believes one of the other available spots on the Bucs’ RB depth chart will be filled by 2019 UDFA Bruce Anderson, who excelled at North Dakota State and who offers solid pass-catching ability, which is not a strong suit of either Barber or Jones. Veteran Andre Ellington — who was out of football in 2018 but who played for new HC Bruce Arians in Arizona — would seem to have a decent chance of making the team, though Tampa Bay could also elect to carry just three RBs (unless a backup like Dare Ogunbowale wins a job as a return specialist).

The club will almost certainly remain on the lookout for veteran depth, and players like Jay Ajayi and old friend Jacquizz Rodgers remain available. An intriguing name or two may also shake loose from another club’s roster as the regular season gets closer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Re-Sign RB Peyton Barber

The Buccaneers are keeping Peyton Barber in the fold. On Wednesday, the Bucs re-signed the running back rather than placing the low-round tender on the restricted free agent, as Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets.

The low-round tender, worth $2.02MM, would have given the Bucs the first right of refusal. However, they would have received no compensation for the former undrafted free agent if they chose not to match. Conversely, with the second-round tender, the Bucs probably would have been able to scare away any other interested team. That tender, meanwhile, would have cost them just over $3MM for 2019. They avoided that whole mess by simply hammering out a one-year deal with him.

Barber, 25, ran for 871 yards off of 234 carries last year, giving him a 3.7 yards per tote average. That mark was a career low for him, while his 234 carries were far and away his career best.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Rumors: Brown, Steelers, Smith

We could see a lot of change in Tampa this year, but do not expect the Buccaneers to pursue Antonio Brown, GM Jason Licht says (via ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert).

From a talent perspective, the Bucs would surely like to have Brown on the roster. However, a Brown trade would require the forfeiture of significant draft capital and would hurt the team’s cap room, effectively forcing them to mortgage the future for a soon-to-be 31-year-old.

For now, the Bucs seem intent on keeping deep threat DeSean Jackson, though it remains to be seen whether they can hang on to pending free agent Adam Humphries.

Here’s more on the Bucs:

  • I don’t envision Donovan Smith being anywhere else but the Bucs, at least for next year,” Licht said on SiriusXM (Twitter link via Greg Auman of The Athletic). He added that the franchise tag is “more than likely” for the left tackle. This jibes with what we’ve heard previously. if the Bucs follow through on that plan, they’ll be even less likely to keep their hands on Humphries.
  • Bruce Arians’ recent chat with Jackson went well, according to the Bucs’ new head coach. “It went great. We had a long sit-down. From my perspective, it couldn’t have been any better,” Arians said (via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com). “You’d have to talk to DeSean to find out what his perspective is. But I thought it was great. I look forward to working with him. Ton of respect for him as a player … and a person.” Licht, meanwhile, was non-committal when asked about D-Jax.
  • Licht was similarly non-committal when asked about six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who carries a $13MM cap hit in 2019 and is under contract through 2021. “Gerald’s been a real productive, successful player for the Bucs — one of the Bucs’ all-time best defensive players, you could argue,” Licht said. “He’s under contract. Ideally, [we’d] love it if he continued to be a Buc.” For what it’s worth, rumor has it that the Bucs see McCoy as a good fit, even as they transition to a 3-4 scheme.
  • Rising sophomore M.J. Stewart will get looks at several positions but “we’d love to see him at safety,” Licht said (Twitter link via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times). Last year, the 2018 second-round pick spent the bulk of his eleven games (five starts) at cornerback. He finished out with 33 tackles and three passes defensed.
  • Licht noted that the Bucs can keep running back Peyton Barber with a high tender in order to keep him from free agency, which may give some insight into the team’s plans (via Auman). A second-round tender at just over $3MM should ward away other interested clubs.
  • Caleb Benenoch struggled in 2018 as the team’s right guard and Licht believes that a switch to tackle is in his future, Auman writes. The change would mean a backup role, so Auman wonders if his job will be safe given his scheduled $2MM salary for ’19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/13/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Buccaneers Re-Sign RB Peyton Barber

The Bucs have re-signed running back Peyton Barber to a one-year, $630K contract through 2018, a league source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). As of this writing, he could be in the mix to start at running back, but the Bucs are expected to continue to explore their options. 

Barber, an Auburn product, missed the 53-man cut last year but was quickly added to the team’s practice squad after clearing waivers. Before the first game of the season, Barber earned a promotion to the varsity squad.

In 2017, Barber averaged 3.9 yards per carry with three touchdowns. He also added 16 catches for 114 yards. Barber becomes the second players on the Buccaneers offense to re-sign with the team this offseason, though it was for considerably less money. The team locked up wide receiver Mike Evans with a five-year, $82.5MM extension last week.

Barber did his best work late in the season including a 100+ yard performance against the Packers in early December. It served as the team’s first 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Barber’s biggest competition for a starting role on the Buccaneers’ current roster would be Jacquizz Rodgers. Tampa Bay has already released Doug Martin and Charles Sims is due to become an unrestricted free agent.

It’s likely the Buccaneers could still be on the lookout for upgrades at running back after ranking No. 27 as a team last year with 1,450 yards rushing. Entering Tuesday, Tampa Bay ranked fifth in the NFL with $62.13MM in available cap space. Some of the top running backs set to hit the open market include DeMarco Murray, Jonathan Stewart, Danny Woodhead, Isaiah Crowell, Dion Lewis and Carlos Hyde.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Gronk, Eli, Barber, Peppers

Although the result of the Patriots-Bills game this afternoon was an expected New England victory, something rather surprising did happen during the fourth quarter of the contest. Up handily by 20 points, Tom Brady threw an interception to cornerback Tre’Davious White. However, when the rookie fell down after his return, tight end Rob Gronkowski clearly hit him in the head while he was just face down on the turf. Gronk was not thrown out because of his malicious action, but Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com was surprised he wasn’t and thinks further punishment could be coming for the star tight end.

Seifert points out in his piece that former NFL referee Dean Blandino said that Gronkowski should have been ejected for the hit and that he could “maybe” be in-line to miss game action for the incident.

The NFL will review the situation over the next 24 hours and see what type or if any discipline is needed. Gronkowski clearly lowered his shoulder into White well after the play was over, seeming upset that the 2017 first rounder picked off Brady in his direction. However, Seifert notes that the 28-year-old doesn’t really have a track record of misbehaving on the field, despite some minor incidents. The league will also take into account that Gronkowski apologized immediately after the game.

While the NFL did levy two-game suspensions to Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree this past week, this situation is clearly different given that there was no history of bad blood between the two players, Though, it’s clear that the Pats All-pro was in the wrong and could miss time or at least get heavily fined because of his actions on the field today.

  • Despite being benched for the remainder of the regular season, Eli Manning remained rather unequivocal when asked if he will suit up for another year in the league, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com“I plan on playing next season,” Manning said twice Sunday after the Giants‘ 24-17 loss to the Raiders. It’s more likely that the veteran signal caller won’t be back with the Giants after what’s transpired this past week. However, that doesn’t mean Manning won’t have his suitors. While he may be 37 years old heading into next season, the two-time Super Bowl winning QB should garner interest from a host of quarterback needy teams. Manning is clearly not the player he once was, but with the need at the position still so high around the league, his track record is tough to come by on the open market. He’s under contract with New York for 2018-19, but the front office could trade him at some point in the offseason or release him before March 18, 2018, when he is due a $5MM roster bonus.
  • The Buccaneers lost their eighth game of the season when the Packers were able to seal the contest in overtime, but running back Peyton Barber was a major bright spot for the team, opines Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. With Doug Martin out due to a concussion, the 23-year-old back carried the ball 23 times for 102 yards. Cummings points out that it was the team’s first 100 yard rushing effort from a tailback since late last season. In his second year since being undrafted out of Auburn, Barber’s performance on Sunday likely earned himself some more chances to impress in the final four weeks of the regular season.
  • Browns rookie safety Jabrill Peppers injured his knee in the team’s game against the Chargers this afternoon, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. Head coach Hue Jackson said that the first round pick will get an MRI tomorrow in order to assess just how serious the injury is. Cleveland has backup safeties Derron Smith and Kai Nacua should Peppers need to miss time.