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Giovani Bernard Re-Signs with Bucs

RB Giovani Bernard, who has been one of the NFL's most productive pass-catching backs over the last decade, is returning for a second season with the Buccaneers


Giovani Bernard is coming back for Round Two in Tampa.

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the re-signing of Bernard, the 10th-year running back who spent his first nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Buccaneers last year. Bernard appeared in 12 games in his Tampa Bay debut season, rushing eight times for 58 yard and catching 23 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns.

A hip ailment forced Bernard to injured reserve for the last four games of the regular season in 2021 but he returned for the playoffs and made a sizeable contribution to a Buccaneers' offense that was badly thinned by injuries. With both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones sidelined by their own injuries for the Wild Card playoff matchup against Philadelphia, Bernard racked up 83 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Bucs' 31-15 victory.

Bernard re-joins a running back crew that also still features Leonard Fournette, who signed a new three-year contract with the Buccaneers in March. In addition, the Buccaneers have third-year back Ke'Shawn Vaughn and veteran Kenjon Barner, primarily a kick returner the last two years, in the mix.

Bernard originally entered the NFL as a second-round pick by the Bengals out of North Carolina in the 2013 draft. Over his eight seasons in Cincinnati he appeared in 115 games with 30 starts and recorded 3,697 yards and 22 toucdhowns on 921 carries. He was also one of the NFL's most prolific pass-catching backs in that span, hauling in 342 passes for 2,867 yards and 11 more scores.

Tampa Bay has now re-signed nine players from their 2021 roster who became or were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 16. That list also includes Fournette, cornerback Carlton Davis, wide receivers Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman, center Ryan Jensen, defensive lineman Will Gholston, guard Aaron Stinnie and tackle Josh Wells.

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