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The Bucs have reportedly signed Giovani Bernard to a one-year deal, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

While the Bucs already have two capable running backs signed in Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay was in need of a true third-down back to round out the position group. The Bucs made multiple attempts to add one last year in rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn and veteran LeSean McCoy. But despite joining a position group with a clear need, neither saw significant playing time.

Over his eight-year career in Cincinnati, Bernard has totaled 2,867 yards and 11 touchdowns on 342 receptions for an average of 8.4 yards per catch. In 2020 alone Bernard racked up 355 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns with a catch percentage of 79.7 percent. With his natural pass-catching ability and willingness to contribute in pass protection, Bernard could likely step in right away and play a crucial, although likely limited, role for the Bucs. Pro Football Focus gave Bernard a pass block grade of 73.0 last season, with only three seasons in his career dropping below that mark while eclipsing an 80.0 pass blocking grade in another three.

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About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

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Emilio
6 months ago

Good ! Now sign AB ! He was the only wideout good at running reverses, jet sweeps, screens, and running after the catch.

jackpc1
Reply to  Emilio
6 months ago

Forget AB. I was more impressed by the talent and unselfishness of Tyler Johnson.

Eddie
Reply to  jackpc1
6 months ago

Was able to see much of Taylor’s play except that one spectacular catch. AB was a very cagy route runner.

Eddie
Reply to  Eddie
6 months ago

Was NOT able to see …….

drdneast
Reply to  Emilio
6 months ago

Both Scotty Miller and Chris Godwin are quite capable of running all of the above and have. With that said I hope the Bucs re-sign AB. He is still very quick coming out of his breaks and after the catch and has great hands.

chefboho
6 months ago

great low key signing. Low mileage and a great receiver out of the backfield. The pieces are coming together nicely for another trip to the promise land

Alldaway 2.0
6 months ago

This is unexpected but awesome news! Gio with Lenny RoJo and Vaughn forms a backbone of a formidable RB unit.
Also frees up draft selections for other positions like the trenches OL/DL, edge rusher, LB and DBs.

jackpc1
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
6 months ago

What we actually need from the draft is a kick-ass returner. Not Mickens.

SenileSenior
Reply to  jackpc1
6 months ago

I agree.
Don’t care if he should be a WR, RB, CB or from any other position as well. Improvement in all aspects of our game will be needed to make a legitmate run for two Lombardis in a row!
Things are looking looking good for us to be able to just take the best player avaible regardless of position with our first two or three picks for certain.
________________
Go Bucs!!!! Super Bowl Champions!

Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  jackpc1
6 months ago

Oh yeah a legit return specialist would really help this team out.

fredster
6 months ago

I said this makes sense and predicted they would pick him up after others said would be “plenty other RB’s available” LOL paging Dr. D your wrong again.

BucLife
6 months ago

This is a huge signing. Love it! Bernard brings exactly the element the RB room was lacking last year.
I doubt they will draft any RBs now though which is fine. There are plenty of other position groups to add depth.

toofamiliar17
Reply to  BucLife
6 months ago

Yea, have to agree. With three established, talented guys, I would be surprised if we took a RB, except with a late pick. Felton could be the exception there, as he’s generally seen as a RB/WR hybrid, and he could bring value as a returner (although I don’t see him being an especially plus returner when facing the speed of NFL opponents).

Pete Wood
6 months ago

Great addition to the team. Brings the skill set of James White. I think Bucs will still draft a RB, but not in the first two rounds, unless it is somebody who somehow fell far below predictions.
Next year keeps looking better and better.

Dave
6 months ago

Love it!! Finally got a real 3rd down back. No more relying on Jones or LF to either drop the ball, or catch it and consistently get no yards after the catch. This offense immediately just got much harder to defend

Last edited 6 months ago by Dave
drdneast
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Yes, Lenny and RoJo both dropped some passes last year but they also caught a lot. Consistently got no yards after the catch? Foolish statement. Watch the film of every reception that Brady through that is available on You Ture and try and peddle that crap. I specifically remember one catch RoJo made against the Chiefs in the regular season where he hurdled one player and took it in for a 30 yard score.

toofamiliar17
Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

Yea, Jones’s per reception and per target numbers were down last season. But he still flashed excellent playmaking ability after the catch, and I don’t think it’s reasonable or fair to him to just completely ignore his 2019, when he was fourth in the league among RB with 10 Y/R and fifth in yards per target at the position.

Dave
Reply to  toofamiliar17
6 months ago

Never said BOTH, can’t catch, or create YAC. I just said in general, the Bucs don’t get consistent catching or creating YAC from them. Because the specific area of Rojo creating yards after the catch, I totally agree with. In general, he’s a plus with the ball in his hands. Running or catching. Has been the last 2 years. LF has always been a negative with the ball in his hands. Both as a runner and a pass catcher. And neither are a plus as a blocker. Both of them, as a whole, are very flawed. And Gio is a… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Dave
Dave
Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

They both dropped a lot, but also caught a lot? No they definitely didn’t. Rojo dropped 5 passes, and caught 28(15% drop percentage), and LF caught 36 and dropped 7(12% drop percentage). Those are absolutely putrid numbers. And I don’t need to YouTube anything smart ass, I saw the games myself. If you’re going to try and “peddle that crap” that either of them is a good pass catching back, the stats and grades say otherwise. Rojo can’t catch, but is decent with the ball in his hands. LF usually can catch, but has always done very little with the… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Dave
Horse
6 months ago

Scratch off for running back in the draft. That big offensive lineman or defensive lineman are starting to look better in the first couple rounds.

KhanRada
6 months ago

Yes he’s a good security blanket. A great receiving back we can use him in passing downs

toofamiliar17
6 months ago

It would officially be shocking for us to take a RB with our first round pick. It’s honestly difficult at this point to see us drafting one outside of with a late pick, unless we’re talking a RB/WR hybrid who can also contribute on special teams. I would actually still really like to, for example, draft Kenneth Gainwell in the 3rd, but only if the plan was to go into camp with an open competition between Jones and Fournette, with the loser of that battle (here’s lookin at you, Lenny) getting the axe before week one. At very most, we’ll… Read more »

Spitfire
6 months ago

This is Amazing. This was the only hole on the roster, a pass catching pass blocking RB. Not sure how good of a runner he is, I honestly have no idea who he is, but it seems like he’s exactly what we needed. It honestly opens this Draft up to be purely BPA, unless Line Depth is a priority. Very very cool.

gibsonmx
6 months ago

Great pickup for the Bucs. But for all that say we don’t still need to draft a RB in the first few rounds, just remember that Jones, Fournette, and Bernard will all be free agents next year. So that only leaves Vaughn under contract for next year. And my guess is 2 of those 3 won’t be back next year. Either way, won’t be mad if they do draft a RB or if they dont. Let’s Go!!!

surferdudes
Reply to  gibsonmx
6 months ago

Agree, and Bernard isn’t a complete back like Harris. However, this makes drafting a RB with the first pick less likely. My guess is we bolster an aging D line.

Action Jackson 72
6 months ago

Great signing!

bucballer
6 months ago

Good role player for Bucs. Replaces Shady. That’s an upgrade alone. Allows us to go best player available in draft or really anyway we want. Just hope it’s someone who can contribute in some way this year!

pinkstob
6 months ago

This is a great pick up! Perfect fit for Brady.

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