Bucs’ GM: ‘Shaq’s(Barrett) contributions have been vital to our success as a team’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, the team announced on Wednesday.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a four-year deal worth up to $72 million. He gets $36 million fully guaranteed.

“Shaq has made a profound and immediate impact on our defense from the day he stepped into the building two years ago,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “From leading the league in sacks in 2019 to leaving his mark during our postseason run to Super Bowl LV, Shaq’s contributions have been vital to our success as a team, and we look forward to continuing that success in the years ahead.”

The  28-year-old Barrett has played in and started 31-of-32 regular season games for Tampa Bay over the last two seasons, accumulating 115 tackles (30 for loss), 53 quarterback hits, 27.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, five passes defensed and one interception. He earned both Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in his first season with the Buccaneers in 2019.

Barrett played a key role in the Buccaneers pursuit of Super Bowl LV, recording eight quarterback hits and 4.0 sacks over the course of the team’s four-game title run to cap off the 2020 season.

The seven-year veteran was a focal point of the 2020 Buccaneers defense, which led the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (80.6) and finished sixth in total yards allowed per game (327.1). Between the regular season and postseason combined, Tampa Bay also led the NFL in takeaways (34), tackles for loss (107) and quarterback hits (142), while finishing tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the most sacks (58.0).

Bringing back Barrett is huge, which will only help Tampa’s chances of winning another Super Bowl. Tom Brady was huge in the playoffs, but Tampa Bay does not win a title without Barrett and that defense.

Brady leads the Buccaneers to Super Bowl LV

Tom Brady was brought to Tampa Bay to lead the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, and on Sunday, he did just that. Behind a strong defense that sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers five times and forced two Green Bay turnovers, the Buccaneers were able to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LV by defeating the Packers 31-26 at Lambeau Field.

With the victory, Tampa Bay will become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Also, the Buccaneers are the first No. 5 seed in NFL history to defeat a No. 1 seed in a conference championship game, and the 43-year-old Brady will make his 10th Super Bowl appearance. 

Brady, who went 20-of-36 for 280 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions on Sunday, is proud of his team’s journey.

“This is the ultimate team sport,” Brady said after the game. “We’ve had a lot of people work really hard over the course of a period of time to get to this point. It’s a tough journey to get here, so to go on the road and win another road playoff game is just a great achievement. Now, a home Super Bowl for the first time in NFL history, I think, puts a lot of cool things in perspective. Any time you’re the first time doing something, it’s usually a pretty good thing. Now we’ve just got to go have a great two weeks, prepare for whoever it is and be ready to go.”

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added: “I couldn’t be happier for our players – they put in so much work – and our coaching staff has done such a great job. Ownership gave us everything that we’ve needed, and I just couldn’t be any more elated for these guys and the job they put in. We had both backup safeties in there, just playing their [butts] off. It was a great team win.”

While Brady had his moments in this game, this was about Tampa’s defense. The Buccaneers defense leads all playoff teams with seven takeaways and 41 points off takeaways, and they did a great job of shutting down Rodgers and the Packers in the fourth quarter(3 points), which Arians discussed after the game.

“I can’t say enough about them,” he said about Tampa’s defense. “They’ve been great in the fourth quarter all year, and we got some great stops. Took a couple chances on offense and tried to get more points – it didn’t work out, but they came back and got the ball right back for us.”

Buccaneers OLBs Shaquil Barrett(3.0 sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul(2.0 sacks) combined for all of the team’s 5.0 sacks in the game. The 5.0 sacks on Sunday matched the Buccaneers’ postseason record for a single game. According to Pierre-Paul, this defense has played at a high level all year long. 

“We closed the game out,” Pierre-Paul said. “Tom [Brady] closed the game out, and that was it. Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback – a phenomenal quarterback. It’s sad that he didn’t make it, but I’d rather them than us, you know? The defense just showed up like we showed up last year, this year, and the whole year.”

Many will talk about the Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to kick a field goal late in the game on fourth and goal with Green Bay trailing 31-23. With a little over two minutes, the Packers had three timeouts, plus the two-minute warning, so in essence, they had four timeouts if they would’ve gotten stopped. Plus, they had Rodgers, who finished the game with 346 yards passing, three touchdowns, and one interception. However, Arians thought it was the right call.

“I thought they had a lot of confidence in their defense at that point in time,” he said. “I thought it was a good move by them.”

Barrett was surprised by the decision.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Barrett said. “I know if they could take that back, they probably wouldn’t do that next time.”

Ultimately, the Packers would not get the ball back.

Brady and the Buccaneers still have one more game to win to make this season the ultimate success, but for now, getting to Super Bowl is a massive accomplishment for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bucs’ Barrett on Packers’ decision to kick field goal: ‘I couldn’t believe it, honestly’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to the Super Bowl after defeating the Packers 31-26 at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. With the victory, Tampa Bay will become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. 

However, many will talk about Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to kick a field goal late in the game on fourth and goal with Green Bay trailing 31-23. 

With a little over two minutes left, the Packers had three timeouts, plus the two-minute warning, so if they get stopped, they could have gotten another chance to get the ball back. Plus, they have Aaron Rodgers, who will probably be the MVP of the league.

Not only were many fans shocked that LaFleur decided to kick the field goal, but Buccaneers OLB Shaquil Barrett, who sacked Rodgers three times on Sunday, was also surprised.

“I couldn’t believe it, honestly,” Barrett said. “I know if they could take that back, they probably wouldn’t do that next time.”

It was a bad decision, and if LaFleur could have it back, he probably goes for it. However, he didn’t, and the rest is history.

Bucs’ Barrett on Saints: ‘We’v’e been itching for this game’

There is so much hype surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and many expected this team to come out firing, but in Week 1, Tampa Bay traveled to New Orleans to battle the Saints in Tom Brady’s debut with the team. However, it did not turn out very well for Brady and the Buccaneers. 

The future Hall of Famer was intercepted twice, including a pick-six by Janoris Jenkins, as the Buccaneers would fall to New Orleans 34-23. Since that game, a lot has changed with the Buccaneers. The team has won three straight and six out of the last seven, and now, Tampa Bay(6-2) is on top of the NFC South and are looking to stay there when they host the Saints(5-2) on Sunday Night Football. 

At 6-2, Tampa Bay is off to their best start since 2002, but the Saints have beaten the Buccaneers four straight times, and according to Tampa Bay LB Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay can’t wait for the rematch.

“We’ve been itching for this game,” Barrett said on Friday. “We know they’ve had our number for the last three games we played [against them]. We’ve got to step up [and] we’ve got to do something different to give ourselves a chance to win this game. [We have] got to get some sacks [and] get some turnovers, but we’ve still got to maintain that strong defensive front where [if] we don’t allow [any] rushing and few passing yards, we’ll be able to get the job done. This is a big-time game for us for the No. 1 seed, and it will set us up for where we want to be at.”

Tampa Bay’s defense has been playing well of late and is getting after the quarterback. The Buccaneers have posted at least 3.0 sacks in each of the past four games, and Barrett thinks the defense has improved a lot since Week 1. 

“We’re a lot better,” Barrett said. “We’ve been working on our mistakes that we knew we had to work on since last year, which is communication [and] two-minute, end of game [situations]. We’ve been trying to get better at that. We know what we have to fix [and] we’ve been trying to fix it, so I think that’s one of the key things.”

This is a big game, and there is no getting around it. If the Saints win on Sunday, they would have swept the season series, which would be huge if these two teams would have identical records at the end of the season. Games like this are why you bring in Brady, and it’s time for him to deliver on Sunday night. Expect a tremendous performance out of Brady and the Buccaneers. 

Buccaneers’ Barrett wins NFC Defensive Player of the Week

The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3.

Against the Denver Broncos, Barrett led the Buccaneers with three tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks, while also recording six total tackles and a safety. His three tackles for loss tied for the most by any player in the NFL in Week 3, and his safety was the first for Tampa Bay since 2016.

Since joining the Buccaneers in 2019, the Colorado State product leads the NFL with 21.5 sacks and five multi-sack performances, while also ranking third in quarterback hits (39) and tied for third in forced fumbles (six) over that span.

Barrett joins Pro Football of Famers Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, as well as All-Pros Rondé Barber, Lavonte David, Hardy Nickerson and Simeon Rice as Buccaneers players to win the defensive award multiple times during their time with Tampa Bay.

Bucs’ Barrett signs franchise tender

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett has signed his franchise tag tender for the 2020 NFL season, the team announced on Wednesday.

The deadline to work out a long-term deal was today at 3 p. m. , and the two sides could not come to an agreement. Barrett will make around $15.8 million in 2020. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 27-year-old Barrett has filed a grievance with NFLPA to be tagged as a defensive, not a linebacker. There’s a $2 million difference between a defensive end and linebacker.

In his first season in Tampa Bay, the seven-year veteran led the NFL with 19.5 sacks, breaking Warren Sapp’s single-season franchise record (16.5, 2000) on his way to earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.

In addition to leading the league in sacks, Barrett posted career highs with 58 tackles, 37 quarterback hits, 19 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, and one interception.

2019 was Barrett’s biggest season by far. Before last season, his highest sack total was 5.5. Was last season a fluke for Barrett, or will he continue to put up double-digit sack numbers? If he has another big season, Tampa will have to pay him, but Tampa could get a discount if his play drops off in 2020. It should be interesting to see how this one plays out.