Identified as a player who could potentially make their first Pro Bowl over the summer, Shaq Barrett has officially done that, and much more for the Buccaneers this season. Not only has Barrett been named to the Pro Bowl, but he is firmly in the discussion for NFL Defensive Player of the Year with his performance this season for the pewter and red.
The fifth year pro, undrafted out of Colorado State, has tallied 16.5 sacks this season for the pewter and red, which leads the league. He has also recorded a league leading six forced fumbles, 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and a whopping 31 hits on the quarterback.
Barrett, who had a contract on the table with his former team, the Denver Broncos, took a chance and bet on himself by signing a one-year deal with a team he knew he could see starting reps with. After four years of being buried behind the likes of Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Demarcus Ware, Barrett wanted to be a starter.
He received offers from only the Buccaneers and the Cincinnati Bengals, but opted to sign with in Tampa. He bet on himself and won big time, as his next contract this offseason will net him upwards of $20 million annually; let us hope the team offering him that contract is the Buccaneers.