Shaquil Barrett wearing a Doug Williams talking about returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be a sign of things to come, and hopefully not a bad omen.
It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their work cut out for them this offseason if they want to keep their Super Bowl championship squad together. The Buccaneers have a myriad of free agents to resign at important positions, and either at the top or near the top of everyone’s list in terms of importance is pass-rusher extraordinaire Shaquil Barrett.
During the parade, Barrett was caught on video stating his intentions to run it back in Tampa Bay. He did so whilst donning an absolutely gorgeous Doug Williams creamsicle throwback jersey.
It’s really a shame those jerseys are synonymous with futility because they are just gorgeous now that they’re throwback. Anyway, this proclamation from Barrett naturally has fans of the Buccaneers feeling at ease that their powerful pass rusher wants to return to Tampa Bay. As eluded to in the tweet, the choice of the apparel appears to further affirm Barrett’s intentions.
Here’s the thing though, Doug Williams didn’t want to leave Tampa Bay either.
Williams was the only starting African-American quarterback in the NFL during his time with the Buccaneers. He was only paid $120,000 a year, the lowest salary for a starting quarterback in the league, and less than the salary of 12 backups. After the 1982 season, Williams asked for a $600,000 contract. The Buccaneers owner at the time was Hugh Culverhouse and he refused to budge from his initial offer of $400,000 despite protests from then-head coach John McKay. The negotiations broke down, and Williams decided to play in the USFL for the Oklahoma Outlaws. Due to Culverhouse’s penny-pinching ways, the Buccaneers franchise went down the toilet. They went 2–14 the first year without Williams and did not make the playoffs again until 1997. The Buccaneers lost ten games in every season but one in during that stretch.
In the case of Barrett, he said in an interview today Adam Schein of Sirus XM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio that he feels that it’s time for him to break the bank. Despite Bruce Arians stating during the parade that Barrett isn’t going anywhere (in so many words) the Buccaneers have a lot of players they need to pay.
Re-signing Barrett ranks high on the Buccaneers to-do list for the offseason. Pass rushers are among the most valuable positions in the game. However, with Barrett apparently wanting big money, Buccaneers fans better hope the team pays up. Granted, Williams’ demands weren’t even astronomical, just fair. Shaquil Barrett wearing a Doug Williams jersey announcing he wants to return to Tampa Bay was a cool visual and gesture, but fans should hope it isn’t a bad omen or a sign of things to come with the upcoming negotiations.