The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making another key roster move.
As reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Friday, April 1, the Buccaneers are re-signing Giovani Bernard to a one-year deal. Bernard played a role for Tampa Bay as a situational back last season, mainly as a third-down back.
“The Bucs agreed to terms with RB Giovani Bernard on a one-year deal, per source,” said Pelissero. “Bernard had multiple offers, but chose to return to Tampa. Another one of Tom Brady’s favorites back in the fold.”
Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Bernard will earn $1.12 million — along with a $152,500 signing bonus — with a salary-cap hit of just under $1.05 million.
Bernard’s Role With Buccaneers
The 30-year-old running back appeared in 12 games, rushed eight times for 58 yards and caught 23 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. With the re-signing of Bernard, Tampa Bay will return both Leonard Fournette and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, which means Bernard is very likely to figure in as a third-down passing back for the second straight season.
Bernard was limited due to a hip injury he suffered in Week 14. However, he returned in time for the Bucs’ postseason run, rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and catching five passes for 39 yards.
The veteran running back spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, appearing in 115 games with 30 starts.
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Buccaneers Name Todd Bowles as Head Coach
The Buccaneers have a new head coach.
Tampa Bay introduced defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as their new head coach during an introductory press conference on Thursday, March 31. The move came directly after head coach Bruce Arians made the decision to step down as Bucs head coach.
Arians explained why he made the decision at the end of March. Head coaching changes usually take place during the month of January.
“It hit me after the Super Bowl,” Arians said. “I thought really hard about going out on top. Then it was like, nah, let’s go for two. [The 2021 season] was a grind with all the injuries but still winning and getting to where we got. Immediately after, two to three weeks afterwards [I thought] … if I quit, my coaches get fired. I couldn’t do it then.
Arians attributes his decision due to Tom Brady announcing his decision to return. With Brady returning, the Buccaneers are in good hands for a transition at head coach.
“Tom was kind of the key,” said Arians. “When Tom decided to come back … and all of these guys back now, it’s the perfect timing for me just to go into the front office and still have the relationships that I love.”
Bowles had spent the prior three seasons as a defensive coordinator for the Buccaneers, including two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals when Arians was head coach during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
This isn’t Bowles’ first stint as a head coach as he previously served as the lead man for the New York Jets from 2015 until 2018, going 24-40 during his four seasons.
Considering the Buccaneers are just two years removed from a Super Bowl title, it’s safe to say Bowles is walking into a much better situation than he did the first time around.