The Peyton Barber Question

February 20th, 2020

He’s durable. He scores touchdowns. He tries really, really hard. He’s overachieved as an undrafted player.

Running back Peyton Barber would be a folk hero in Tampa if he played like the next Earnest Graham, but Barber never quite got there.

Barber took a big step backwards last season averaging just 3.1 yards per a carry. When you conjured up memories of Doug Martin 2016 and 2017, you know things didn’t go well.

In 2019, Barber couldn’t beat out Dare Ogunbowale as the Bucs’ third-down back. And as a punishing early-downs rusher, he just didn’t cut it. Barber scored seven touchdowns, which is impressive, but the overall body of work was disappointing.

At 26 years old, Barber is about to hit free agency and the Bucs have a decision to make. Once upon a time, Barber was a pretty good special teams player, and he’s not a bad option as a veteran to compete for a third or fourth running back slot.

Joe would love to see new blood — a lot of it — in the Bucs’ running backs stable. But how would you handle Barber?

46 Responses to “The Peyton Barber Question”

  1. Smashsquatch Says:

    We need more juice, less plodders. Next….

  2. D-Rome Says:

    He seems to be a good dude with a nice story but I would like to see the Bucs move on.

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    Of course I want Barber to be a Buc next year. This guy runs with violence. He impacts the game on a unique level.

    I’m one of his biggest fans. Admittedly didn’t have the season I thought he could have. Love his durability and reliability but the Bucs problem is they need a playmaker. A spash hitter. Barber is a good secondary runner but we need more from his position.

    I’ll take him in a heartbeat if the price is right but everybody involved probably knows Peyton needs to test the market. There is probably a awesome opportunity for him. It’s going to be hard to keep Peyton from all ends since the Bucs can probably only keep him on the cheap. But man if this guy returns look out. We gonna get us a big time runner this yeah. Mix in some Barber to that???? Bruce said it best…. Woof….Barber can absolutely put a hurt down on somebody!!!!

  4. catcard202 Says:

    It’s a money thing at this point… He’s just not worth a pay hike to keep him, w/ RoJo taking over #1 reps.

    If Barbour was willing to take less money in 2020 than he got in 2019 to stay…Sure, but he isn’t looking for a pay cut.

    Too many fresh legs coming via the draft / UDFA to over-pay for a BU.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    For 1 mil a season, Barber is a reasonable #3 back & S/Ts player. He probably won’t set the world on fire, but he’s better than his 2019 performance indicates. Prior to this past year’s 3.1 YPC average, he’d been averaging 3.9 YPC behind this Bucs’ OLine.

    So the real question is ‘How much of last year was Peyton versus how much was on the OLine versus how much was on the OC in terms of play design & play-calling’? My guess is that Peyton will be back to a 3.8 – 4.0 YPC average if the OLine does its job better & the OC does his job better.

    Oh and for those who say he can’t catch, that’s bullspit. He averaged 76% for the first 3 years, before falling off to 67% last year. Interesting that his weren’t the only stats that went south last year. But oh ya, we had over 5,000 yards passing, so we’re good. 7-9 good.

  6. Pewter power Says:

    That decision should have been made already, it’s the easiest offseason decision to make. If you cant decide whether to move on from this guy you have no business being called a general manager

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    Bring him back at the right price.

  8. Mort Says:

    Let him compete and guarantee nothing. Maybe even trade him when dalvin cook gets hurt again lol

  9. miken Says:

    I say bring him back. Year 6 is when most pros come into their own and play at a high level

  10. doolnutts Says:

    Smashsquatch– Agree.. I like Barber but either him or Dare need to go next year. I think Jones gets the chance to start BUT we need to bring fresh legs into this unit. I think we will draft someone in the later rounds and maybe add a cheaper FA. But there is no way Dare/Barber both should be on this roster. Barber is a RB3 and Dare should be on a practice squad.

  11. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    OL upgrade > RB upgrade…we are far from having a RB as the greatest missing piece …

  12. Eric Says:

    Just not as the number 1 or 2 back

  13. SmoothBayRider Says:

    I’ll take a 34 year old Legarrette Blount over Peyton Barber .

  14. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Hell , I might even rather have Marion Barber.

  15. Geno711 Says:

    Ok with him or Brate at 1 million per year. Good stories. Hard players. Nothing more

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    next……that being said bucs are kings of clinging to mediocrity and down right bad players therefore I would anticipate a multi year deal similar to the one mike the blocker clayton received. .

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Here’s a wrinkle. There is now a chance the CBA deal will get done very soon. That will remove the Franchise Tag option.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe, when the CBA is settled upon (might happen tomorrow), will you go into detail on the changes?

  19. Dreghost Says:

    Why are we even talking about this guy joe! I mean aren’t we tired of at best AVERAGE PLAYERS? Which equals at BEST “AVERAGE SEASONS for fans! Atleast bring in some entertainment if we’re going to lose lol heck I’d still like to see Le’Veon Bell in the backfield

  20. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    With above, depends on the 💰

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d be okay if he’s back, but would rather have T.J. Logan as the 3rd RB (more speed, can return kickoffs), assuming we get a number 2 RB in the draft.

  22. K2 Says:

    As a second or third RB…I think he has value. Would be very happy if the BUCS added a stud RB

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe in Michigan … Assuming that TJ Logan heals up OK (out/IR last 4 games), I can’t imagine a scenario where the Bucs DON’T bring him back. He was very good on returns I thought (well, much better than the others we’ve tried).

    That being said, he in essence becomes the 4th back (return man & filler-inner if someone goes down … which RBs invariably do). Still, he only got in for 23 offensive snaps all year. The rest were pretty evenly split along RoJo (415), Dare (361) & Peyton (339). IOW, none of them stood out to this coaching staff (or to any of us probably).

    I’m not a big fan of Ogunbowale’s admittedly, but just noticed that he did get the 2nd most S/Ts snaps (318) on the team, behind Kevin Minter (332). Since Dare only got 11 rushes & 46 targets out of his 361 offensive snaps, it’s probably safe to assume that he got a LOT of pass protection time. And since he’s presently under contract for 2020 (for only $585K), Bucs may opt to keep him instead of Barber. That’s sure to drive Joe nuts.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Virtually everything’s going to Moderation now Joe. Makes very un-fun.

  25. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I would let him test the market. If he can’t find a suitor then leave open the possibility he can return and battle for the 3rd spot at the the leagues veteran minimum. If he wins the spot then sweeten his contract.

  26. Jean Lafitte Says:

    why am I in moderation now?

  27. Elita Vita Says:

    The Payton Barber Question ?

    He may be a question


    He’s not the answer!

  28. Bucemup Says:

    It’s ok for us to be elite at the running back position. Why should we have to settle for mediocre play? Let’s have some juice out there on every play.

  29. Buczilla Says:

    I’d only bring Barber back as a last resort. We should draft at least one running back this year and try to find a veteran that actually scares defenses from time to time. I’d love to somehow get Derrick Henry, but he said that Ezekiel Elliott’s contract is his starting point. The guys got balls considering that he is one dimensional, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask. 😛 If he’s still floating in the wind come July, I’d kick the tires on him. Giving big money to anything but “hall of fame caliber” running backs is beyond foolish. Just ask Atlanta, LA, and AZ, and the Jets.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We’ll keep 4 RBs, so yes, bring him back for depth…and pay him as depth.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Good news, TMax! Bucs are re-signing Gerald McCoy!

  32. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Defense Rules: I agree on TJ Logan, but would rather have Barber over Dare, even at more money. Dare was so-so in the offense, and one of the worst kick returners I’ve seen.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    New CBA is increasing regular roster by 2, and practice squad by 2.

    Players will no longer be suspended for weed.

  34. cmurda Says:

    I was reading somewhere that LeVeon Bell would have rushed for the worst YPC if not for Molasses Barber. Nothing but love for the hard-worker but hard work ain’t enough. You gotta have speed and agility. a #1 RB is a major position of need

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    That’s good news about the expanded rosters, Buccaneer Bonzai.

  36. westernbuc Says:

    At best as competition for the 3rd spot, but overall I’m happy this guy is getting paid. He’s a great story and I hope teams keep cutting him a check

  37. OneBuc55 Says:

    I like Peyton Barber but it’s kind of hard to evaluate him since our offensive line is basically doodo…that said, I don’t see him as a starter; but definitely a solid back-up…

    We haven’t been committed to running the football for at least the last 4 or 5 years…If we added a mauler or 2 to this toothless offensive line and actually gave our RB’s more than 5 or 6 carries a game we may be pleasantly surprised…Not to mention, it would help the QB…

  38. Adrnagy Says:

    Yes. Yes. Now that rumors are starting to open up about resigning Winston we can move on to another position. RB. Barber runs hard and plays hard. But we need rb’s that can run. Catch. Run routes etc. I’m not too sure if he checks all the boxes.

  39. NOLES Says:

    Not sure I understand.. he is not worth a roster spot & neither is Obgunwale. Apologize if misspelled but he is terrible.

    Someone earlier blamed Barber for that crappy route out if backfield but it was actually Obungawle who contributed to pick 6.

    I also blame JW bc if you can’t see if your check down is clear then throw it to the 1 st down marker High & Out of bounds…

    That’s the play JW just cant make

  40. Brandon Says:

    Not really a special teams player and no better than a #3 RB in the NFL. Sadly he may be out of the league next season.

  41. catcard202 Says:

    Let him walk. Love the guys heart & back story, but it’s time to move on.

  42. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    What catcard said.

  43. BucEmUp Says:

    I’d bring.him back after he tests the market for cheap.Rbs are a dime a dozen these days and probably Jones is a 5 y.p.c back if leftwich would pull his head out of his ass and learn how to do more with his running backs

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    He looked really sluggish and slow for most of last year, so the team would know more about that than anyone else. If he was injured, and not suddenly washed up, then he’s a good backup for Ronnie, for now. But I’d be shocked if he gets more than vet minimum from anyone – and if I’m wrong, I’m OK living with that.

  45. Swampbuc Says:

    He belongs on the roster in August at the vet minimum and give him a shot to compete for the 4th RB spot.

  46. BucEmUp Says:

    I can see Arians trying to lure Kenyan Drake here. I’m sure he watched him closely how he played in Arizona.Wouldnt overpay the guy though I think Rojo is just as capable.Guy can’t learn how to pass block if you don’t let him pass block.