Since signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, Shaquil Barrett has not only been one of the best pass-rushers the Buccaneers have ever had, he’s been the best in the NFL, period. He also has stats to back that up.
Shaq Barrett has certainly had quite the career so far. When he began his career with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2014, Barrett worked harder and harder each year to get better as a pass-rusher. Barrett would record 5.5 sacks in his first season in action in 2015, and even got himself a Super Bowl ring for his troubles. He would end his five years in Denver with 14 sacks to his name, and was a player that showed flashes of brilliance.
When the Buccaneers signed him in the 2019 offseason, it was one of those cheap low-risk/high-reward signings that didn’t make too many headlines. To say it paid off in dividends would be the understatement of the century.
In his first season with the Bucs, Barrett burst onto the scene with 19.5 sacks in 2019, whole recording eight in 2020. Barrett was also a force in the playoffs in 2020. He had three sacks in the NFC Championship, and added another one in Super Bowl LV but was in the backfield all evening giving Patrick Mahomes fits. He’s already been embedded in the hearts of Buccaneers fans everywhere as one of the best pass rushers the team has ever had, but he also has the numbers to make a claim as the best in football since coming to Tampa. Take this tweet from CBS’s Jeff Kerr as evidence:
To say that’s impressive company would be putting it lightly. Since joining the Buccaneers, Barrett has had more success rushing the passer than guys who are consistently in the running for Defensive Player of the Year like Aaron Donald and T.J. Watt when it comes to sacks. For whatever reason, that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. So, we figured we fight the good fight here.
Perhaps a Defensive Player of the Year award is in Barrett’s future. It’s not that farfetched to think could happen. He already has aspirations of that award and more, and if he keeps up this production, he just might get there.
Shaq Barrett is a special player. The Buccaneers struck gold with him, and fans should be happy to know that the best pass-rusher in football will be sticking around for a while after turning down more “lucrative” deals in order to stay in Tampa.