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Report: Giovani Bernard to sign with Buccaneers

Gio Bernard will join the Buccaneers in 2021. We take a look at his fantasy football value in Tampa Bay.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates after a touchdown run against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium.  Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will add former Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The Buccaneers have been busy this offseason as they’ve brought back all 24 starters from their 2020 Super Bowl victory and now add do-it-all back Bernard.

Tom Brady is adept at targeting running backs, but a strong receiving back was one thing that was missing last season, as Leonard Fournette led the backs in receptions. He is capable, but Bernard is better. It’s not hard to imagine Bernard and Brady hooking up on 50-plus receptions this upcoming season, as the team ranked 12th in running back receptions in 2020. And with Bernard, that total should rise.

Pelissero reports that “Tom Brady and Bruce Arians both personally recruited Bernard.” It’s hard not to see him taking over the third-down job this season. This isn’t good news for Fournette, sophomore Ke’Shawn Vaughn and starter Ronald Jones in fantasy. Vaughn is likely completely replaced by Bernard, while Fournette should lose his one fantasy advantage and Jones will see his total snaps infringed upon.