The Buccaneers were smart to move on from Peyton Barber for many of the same reasons as Devonta Freeman. The Buccaneers didn’t have a need for Barber any longer, and his absence has improved the run game in Tampa Bay.
In all fairness to Barber, he served well in his role as a bridge between Doug Martin and Ronald Jones. Most running backs would’ve failed in a similar situation, yet Barber was able to scratch and claw his way to a few respectable seasons.
Unfortunately, his presence in Tampa Bay only stifled Jones’s growth, and the Buccaneers decided to let Barber walk during this past free agency period.
The Buccaneers had to give Barber a one-year contract after his performance in 2018, but the run game in 2019 suffered as a result. In a year where RoJo was supposed to inherit the keys to the starting role, Barber served as a handcuff that would yank Jones back after the smallest mistake. Jones had no opportunity to grow with Barber, the former starter, on his heels, and the Buccaneers had no choice but to move on.
Barber’s 2019 stats made this easier in the end for the Buccaneers, and now the run game has started to show substantial improvements over the previous years with Jones in the lead role.
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