Shaquil Barrett Wants to Remain in Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a flier on a little-known edge rusher named Shaquil Barrett to the tune of a one-year, $4 million contract last offseason.

Barrett had spent much of his four years in Denver trapped behind future Hall of Famers Von Miller and Demarcus Ware. While he had played well in his reserve role, he simply hadn’t shown enough to generate much interest on the open market.

Tampa Bay’s low-risk acquisition paid off better than anyone could’ve imagined. Barrett not only secured a starting role in the absence of the injured Jason Pierre-Paul but led the entire NFL with 19.5 sacks.

On top of that, he broke Buccaneers’ legend Warren Sapp’s single-season team sack record (16.5) and was elected to his first Pro Bowl.

Now, the former undrafted free agent out of Colorado State is poised to secure a lucrative, long-term contract whether with Tampa or on the open market as a free agent.

However, he hopes it will be with the Bucs. Following his first Pro Bowl practice on Wednesday, Barrett expressed a strong desire to remain in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future:

“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. “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.”

Head coach Bruce Arians made no secret of the team’s desire to retain the NFL’s soon-to-be sack king back in December quipping, “He ain’t going anywhere.”

If you listen to Barrett it sure sounds like Arians have given him similar assurances:

“I don’t know if it’s gonna get done before [March] but I love that confidence that [Arians] gave me,” Barrett said. “I’m just ready to get it done and ready to start building my life in Tampa and be there for the long haul.”

It’s been a whirlwind 10 months for a player that was allowed to walk without an offer from his former team largely thanks to their drafting of Bradley Chubb. The Broncos selected him fifth overall in 2018 seemingly rendering Barrett expendable.

Besides the Buccaneers, only the Cincinnati Bengals showed interest in the then four-year veteran. However, they rescinded a two-year offer citing their concerns with a lingering shoulder injury.

The Bengals’ tentativeness became the Buccaneers’ blessing and, now, stands to become Barrett’s blessing as well.

The 27-year-old doesn’t appear terribly concerned with breaking the bank either. Instead, he simply expressed a strong desire to take care of his family:

“I’m not thinking about the exact values,” Barrett said. “I just know whatever it is, is going to set me up and my family for the rest of our lives. It will take care of my kids and their kids.

“That was my whole goal, just to make sure my family never had to worry or feed like any instability. I want security, that’s all I want for my family and to be able to do that would mean a lot, for me, for them, for my family back home (in Maryland).”

With both team and player seemingly intent on getting a longterm contract in place, it sounds like Shaquil Barrett will be donning red and pewter while terrorizing quarterbacks for many years to come.

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