Don’t Let Him Go

January 27th, 2020

Disturbing analysis.

One of the worst days Joe had following the Bucs came in the late winter of 2013, when the Bucs let the best edge rusher they had since Simeon Rice go for no good reason.

Depending on Joe’s mood at the time, remembering it either gets Joe depressed or sets him off in a rage.

Why oh why do teams who struggle let good players go without any compensation? It’s a riddle Joe cannot answer and it became an art form for this Bucs organization during the Lost Decade.

How many terrible player personnel decisions were made when good players were tossed off the pirate ship for nothing and those players wound up being key cogs on Super Bowl-winning teams?

Naturally, the season after Bennett was shown the door at One Buc Palace, he went to Seattle and won a Super Bowl.


So when Joe read a piece from’s Albert Breer this morning, in which he guessed the Bucs could be looking at other shiny objects to buy for a pass rush this offseason and potentially not bring back Pro Bowler and franchise record-holder and NFL leader in sacks, Shaq Barrett, Joe almost got sick in his Miami Beach hotel (yes, Joe is down here for Super Bowl coverage and will hand off the baton to Uncle Ira later in the week).

The Buccaneers have a complicated decision to make on LB Shaq Barrett. He had a 19.5-sack season, and the market for elite pass-rushers has now been established well into the $20 million-per range (Khalil Mack, Frank Clark, DeMarcus Lawrence). Do the Bucs go there now? Do they wait to see what’s out there on the market and risk losing the 27-year-old? Finding a guy like Barrett has been a struggle for the Bucs in recent years, so it’ll sure be interesting to see how hard they fight to keep him.

Holy flirkingschmidt the Bucs cannot be this stupid to even entertain such a move.

Now Joe fully gets it. Shaq could be a fluke. This is the first time he ever had more than 5.5 sacks in a season. And he damn near quadrupled that. That often raises a flag.

Joe is a big believer in Shaq but fully understands why the Bucs may want to be cautious. So that’s why you use the franchise tag on Shaq.

Look, Bennett actually wanted to stay with the Bucs and was willing to give the team a hometown discount to stay. Joe has no clue if that is the case with Shaq (it doesn’t sound like an oily Drew Rosenhaus move) but Shaq sure does seem like he wants to stay with the Bucs.

This is a total no-brainer. There is no need to overthink this. Keep Shaq. Don’t start scoping other chicks at the beach.

20 Responses to “Don’t Let Him Go”

  1. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe unless you know what Shaq wants to stay here you can’t say its good for him to stay or go, correct? Obviously management has shown they want him back but until you know the numbers and length of time you can’t say not bringing him back is the wrong move. With Bennett, its apples and oranges; two different players. Keep scoping the other chicks at the beach while you keep Shaq right infront of you; don’t wind up with nothing if the best option you get is a disgruntled player returning for 1 year on a franchise tag when he wants long term security.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What happens if Jameis, Shaq & JPP…..all try to hold the Bucs up?……..

    Breer merely questions……

    I think we want to keep Shaq and he wants to stay…..we will likely work out a deal.

  3. The Coroner Says:

    Joe. As you so eloquently described you did not have enough space to write the stories of fortunate players who go on to football glory who were released by the incredibly stupid Bucs.
    Does anyone think that the Bucs have miraculously had an epiphany and will now make smart personnel decisions. As a season ticket holder since 1972 (yes, when only preseason games were played in Tampa) I have too long of a memory.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    AMEN Joe! This is silly talk. It would be brain dead to find a gem in FA and then toss it out the window.

  5. Pewter power Says:

    Your asking that question based on what another writer said. All this guessing is pointless because he is the only player bucs specifically said they ain’t going nowhere. It’s not complicated you pay him his worth based on the market. Why be afraid of paying him for producing and there is serious talk from you about the going rate for a quarterback like winston being 30+ a year. Pay the man and be done with it

  6. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    Holy #$&* Coroner! I went to those preseason games too! The Colts played there, the end zones had not been closed in yet, Bubba Smith suffered a career ending knee injury, and Joe Namath suffered a terrible knee injury as well.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Shaq will not be as effective without Suh, JPP and Nassib so they better have a plan for all if them.

  8. Buczilla Says:

    Agreed. Signing Shaq to a long term deal or using the tag is a no brainer. If we don’t do either I’ll be pi$$ed.

  9. pick6 Says:

    so, a 3rd party speculated that a contract negotiations writes – in a space-filling article while every football journalist is waiting the Super Bowl week media binge to kick off – that a team could either sign or not sign an impending free agent, and we want to relive the michael bennet trauma.

    the team could sign him or not sign him. fact (worthless fact, but fact)

    if they do not sign him, signing another player would be the likely cause or response. that checks out

    the Breer article implies, predicts, or illuminates nothing. it certainly doesn’t make it more likely that shaq goes the way of mike bennett. we heard mention on either side of a desire to get it done when it was time to make a call on mike bennett.

  10. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Bennett was over-rated. Shaq Barrett, and JPP run circles around that dude.

  11. Swampbuc Says:

    The idiot Dominik let Bennett go. He was the GM. He was accountable.

    And if he was just doing what ownership or the in over his head coach told him then he was a wimp as well as an idiot. That moron set the Bucs back many many years, and we fans are still suffering because of his ineptitude.

  12. Robert Says:

    bennett was and is a POS. he was a good rusher, but seattle won that super bowl not him.

    Shaq balled out, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a one hit wonder. what would he have been w/o jpp or vea?

    pay the man, and pay him VERY well, but if drew rosenwhatever wants elite money for one year of production on a guy who is already 27 ….meh…franchise him……….just in case we make a run this year. otherwise draft someone younger .

    he proved you can find gems in FA for peanuts! just need the right influencers as well.

  13. Mister Negative Nancy Says:

    You mean the same Michael Bennett who made up police harassment charges? The same one accused of beating up an elderly paraplegic?

    My guess is they let him go because he could be yet another team cancer. Seattle had substantially more leadership in its veterans and coaches to keep this guy from going off the deep end.

    As for Shaq, it’s a no-brainer. Has there ever been a more clear case of where to use the franchise tag than him?

  14. D-Rome Says:

    Now Joe fully gets it. Shaq could be a fluke. This is the first time he ever had more than 5.5 sacks in a season. And he damn near quadrupled that. That often raises a flag.

    In 2018 Shaq Barrett had 275 snaps on defense which doesn’t include special teams. In 2019 Shaq had 917 snaps on defense which is over 3x the amount of snaps. If you do the maths you will see two things:

    1. 19.5 sacks is a fluke however…
    2. If you parse out the production Barrett had in terms of defensive snaps played in Denver and you multiply that by the number of snaps he got here you will see that his production is going to get him 10-12 sacks a year from that postion.

    So yeah, I think if the Bucs sign him expecting him to be in the 17-19 sacks a season range they will be disappointed. His production bears out to be a 10-12 sack per year player. That should *still* be worth it to the Bucs. As long as he gets the number of snaps that he did last year we should not see him with less than 10 sacks a season over the course of his contract.

  15. El Buco Realisto Says:

    It’s sad that joe, even after a decade still can’t tell the truth that talk show dominik used the medical to clear the way for his bust of his draft picks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go bucs!!!!!!

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    As others have said, Shaq is a keeper, but only if you also keep Suh, JPP, Nasib and others used in the rotation. Shaq’s performance was not a fluke, nor was the NFL’s No 1. rushing defense. Rather than franchise Shaq, I think they should cut him a long-term contract, and save the franchise tag for someone else (Jameis perhaps).

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    i guess you can call aaron donald a fluke too because he got 11sack before hitting 20.5 in 2018 and only 12.5 in 2019…….

    imo, shaq wasnt a fluke….he had to sit and wait behind 2 1st round picks….he was an UDFA…..

    its a bad look for a team to wait until a players doesnt produce and then offer him a contract….

    he produced so reward him….

    we’re still waiting on JW to have 1 of those “fluke” seasons….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  18. Joe Says:

    It’s sad that joe, even after a decade still can’t tell the truth that talk show dominik used the medical to clear the way for his bust of his draft picks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Joe heard different from someone who was in the room when the decision was made.

  19. Craig Says:

    Three year contract for Shaq

    2 years for JPP

    1 year for SUH

    Franchise tag for Jameis. He will, hopefully, turn it down and find out it is the best deal he will get. Then maybe he will get his head into the game and come close to reaching his potential.

  20. Beeej Says:

    Tag Barret. Next year, he’ll likely only have 8-9 sacks, and a long term contract will be much more affordable