Redskins continue to add running back depth by signing Peyton Barber

The Washington Redskins added another running back in free agency. They signed Peyton Barber, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to a two-year deal.

Last season, the Washington Redskins had a lot of solid depth at the running back position in the lead-up to the 2019 season. And it appears that they’ll be doing the same in 2020.

The Redskins once again dipped into the free agent pool to add Peyton Barber to their team. Barber went undrafted out of Auburn in 2016 and spent the first four seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was first to break the news, but it was NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport who came in with the contract details. Barber’s pact will be worth $3 million over two years with just $600K guaranteed.

Signing Barber at this price is fine. But it’s not an inspiring move. Barber is a decent power back who can be good in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He doesn’t have much burst or speed at all.

Since averaging 4.1 yards per carry as a rookie, Barber’s numbers have steadily decreased with more action. He averaged a paltry 3.1 yards per carry last season and was eventually replaced by Ronald Jones as the starter in the Tampa Bay backfield. He does have 11 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons, but his potential as a strength-based short-yardage option is limited.

The Redskins aren’t surrendering much at all to get Barber. And it’s possible that they just want him aboard as competition. Ron Rivera must like something about him, as he saw Barber play twice a year when he was with the Panthers.

Maybe Rivera envisions using Barber as a running back/fullback hybrid. Or maybe he just likes the idea of having extra depth at running back given how injury-prone the position can be. Either way, adding Barber is a decent move. But he may not make the final roster.

Barber will join a crowded backfield that features Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, Bryce Love, and J.D. McKissic, another free agent signed this offseason. Guice and Love have both dealt with injuries during their brief NFL careers to date, so perhaps Barber could earn a role on the squad if one of them gets banged up again or perhaps on his own merit if the 25-year-old can show well in the preseason.

Next: Grading the Quinton Dunbar, Kyle Allen trades

We’ll see how Barber does with the Redskins this offseason. He’s a no-risk signing with that small of a guarantee, but it doesn’t seem like he has a very high ceiling.

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