The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to load up as they “go for two” next season. The Bucs have agreed to terms with former Bengals running back Giovani Bernard who was recruited by none other than Tom Brady, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“Veteran RB Giovani Bernard is signing a one-year deal with the #Bucs, per source,” Pelissero tweeted. “Tom Brady and Bruce Arians both personally recruited Bernard, one of the NFL’s best receiving backs, after his release from Cincinnati. Another weapon for Brady and the Super Bowl champs.”
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers topped the Chiefs as the final contenders to sign Bernard after he was released by the Bengals. The move comes after the Bucs were linked to pass-catching Patriots running back James White earlier this offseason. Brady enjoys having a good receiving threat in the backfield, an area where both Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette displayed some inconsistencies last season.
“James White had interest in joining Tom Brady and the #Bucs as their third-down back before re-signing with the Patriots,” Rapoport noted on Twitter. “Instead, it’s the newly available Gio Bernard. He had interest from TB and the Chiefs, but ends up in Tampa Bay.”
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The Bucs Now have a Crowded Running Back Group
The Buccaneers have plenty of depth at running back with the latest addition combined with re-signing Fournette earlier this offseason. Bernard joins Jones and second-year rusher Ke’Shawn Vaughn in a deep backfield.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has been open about having brand-new position battles when training camp opens despite coming off a title run. Bernard serves a very specific role for Tampa Bay and likely will compliment Fournette and Jones as the feature backs.