The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have some decisions to make in free-agency, but LB Shaq Barrett should be the top priority.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can have conversations about whether or not to re-sign several unrestricted free agents in 2020, but Shaq Barrett is out of the question, and the front-office has made that pretty clear.
Barrett made himself some money in 2019, totaling 58 tackles and a franchise-record 19.5 sacks. Barrett was absolutely unstoppable for most of the year and finished off his season with an impressive three sacks against the Atlanta Falcons.
In addition to those 19.5 sacks, Barrett had 37 QB hits and graded out as one of the top edge-rushers in the country, according to Pro Football Focus.
With his contract coming up, one of the top priorities for the Buccaneers in free-agency should be doing what it takes to get Barrett back in Tampa Bay.
Barrett told the media during Pro Bowl practice that he wanted to be in Tampa Bay “for the long haul.”
"“I don’t know where it’s going to end up at, but I’m confident that it’s going to be where I should be — which is Tampa,” Barrett said via ESPN. “It’s up to Tampa Bay right now, whatever they want to do. We’re on board with them and our plan is to just get whatever we can out of anybody, but we [are] planning on Tampa. I’m planning on Tampa.”"
An elite edge-rusher who absolutely loves the organization and the town is hard to find. The Buccaneers will likely try to lock up Barrett with a decent long-term extension that will likely value around $15 million per year.
When you look at that Buccaneer defensive scheme, rushing the passer is an extremely important aspect of having success. Barrett did that, without exception, and was a huge reason for why Tampa Bay made such strides defensively over the course of this season.
There are conversations that will take place pertaining to DT Ndamukung Suh and even QB Jameis Winston– in case you hadn’t heard already- but there shouldn’t even be an extra thought when it comes to Barrett.
Tampa Bay needs to do whatever it can to re-sign Barrett and it looks like the talented edge-rusher is committed to the organization for the long-term.