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Former Auburn RB Peyton Barber joins Tampa Bay’s practice squad

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) rushes for yardage past Cleveland Browns defensive end John Hughes (93) during the preseason.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) rushes for yardage past Cleveland Browns defensive end John Hughes (93) during the preseason. AP

Peyton Barber was one of the players cut by Tampa Bay to get down to a 53-man roster last week, but the former Auburn running back wasn’t facing an uncertain future.

When Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter delivered the news to Barber, it came with assurances they would sign him if he wasn’t claimed by another team during the next 48-hours.

Barber officially resigned with the organization Sunday afternoon.

According to Peyton’s father Ken Barber, his son will have the “opportunity to move up to the 53-man roster sooner than later.”

NFL teams can carry up to 10 players on its practice squad. The players practice with the team, but aren’t eligible to play in games. Practice squad players are paid a minimum salary of $6,900 per week.

Peyton Barber left Auburn to enter the NFL Draft with two years of eligibility left after rushing for more than 1,000 yards last season. He didn’t get drafted in April, but Tampa Bay made it a priority to sign the undrafted free agents

Barber closed out the preseason with 11 carries for 40 yards and one catch for 10 yards in the team’s preseason finale against Jacksonville.

“We wanted to get Peyton a few runs with the first offensive line, we did that and just like we thought from practice, Peyton is a good inside runner,” Koetter said in a press conference reviewing the game. “He's a big back. He's powerful. He made a couple of nice plays on special teams and if you are going to be a backup running back you have to play special teams.”

The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder finished the preseason with 38 carries for 99 yards and proved to be a reliable option out of the backfield with seven catches for 56 yards.

Tampa Bay had its top two running backs set coming into the preseason. Doug Martin is the team’s top back with Charles Sims as his backup. With moving Barber over to the practice squad, the team will go with Mike James as its third back.

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