“I Don’t Want To Mess This Up”

January 8th, 2020

Family man Shaq Barrett is entering free agency as a 27-year-old, league-leading, 19 1/2-sack guy.

It’s a break-the-bank combination, but one part of Decision Shaq often gets lost in the conversation about his future.

And that is what Shaq desires. What does Shaq really want?

It’s an important question because he probably would have at least a dozen teams eager to sign him if he reached free agency when the dinner bell rings in March.

Several times this season Shaq talked about how much he loves the Todd Bowles system and how he would prefer not to move his family again after arriving in Tampa from Denver last March.

And again today, a Shaq comment was published that makes Joe believe Shaq truly wants to be a Buccaneer.

“… It feels perfect. I like (Arians). I like (general manager Jason Licht). I like the training staff, I like everybody. I don’t want to mess this up. There’s no reason for me to mess this up down here,” Shaq told the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

Joe wants to be excited for a Shaq return, but money talks and there’s no telling how Shaq’s desires could change if another team, say, wanted to drop $25 million guaranteed in his lap while the Bucs were offering 20 percent less.

Yes, the Bucs could slap the franchise tag on Shaq for around $16 million in 2020, but that puts the Bucs in a very difficult spot if Shaq goes out and has even just 10 or 11 sacks next season. He’d command a more monstrous fortune for 2021 and beyond as a 28-year-old sack artist with two years of consistency.

Joe believes Shaq when he says he doesn’t “want to mess this up.”

Perhaps the bigger question is if the Bucs want to mess it up?

Joe continues to wonder what the real truth is surrounding Shaq’s shoulder, and how that might affect decision-making at One Buc Palace.

Bucs fans all saw seven years ago what happened when Michael Bennett’s questionable shoulder appeared to lead the Bucs to make the horrifically stupid decision to let him walk.

46 Responses to ““I Don’t Want To Mess This Up””

  1. common sense Says:

    Shaq needs to be the 1st player signed this off-season.

  2. common sense Says:

    Its crazy how much all of these pass rushers could end up costing per year if the Bucs sign them all.
    Shaq $18 Million/season
    JPP $12 Million/season
    Suh $7 Million/season
    Nassib $8 Million/season
    Equals out to about $45 Million per season cap hit just to resign all the guys with expiring contracts…..

  3. adam from ny Says:

    one thing i always wonder is what is up with his eating and working out, because he’s a bit of a chubbster in the midsection for a linebacker…

    look at the pic above – he looks a bit bulbous, and on the field i’ve always noticed a slight pot belly…

    linebackers are usually ultra sleek and chiseled, but not shaq…

    so he produces like a mofo, and then maybe rolls through the mickey dees drive thru to wolf down a few big macs on dale mabry after games…

    what ever is going on…fit or chubby he is doing it right tho…

    i think he stays in tampa just from the fear alone of being a “system player”…

    what if he goes somewhere else and has to really create with less support, and has a 6 sack season -it’s totally feasible…in bowles scheme he will thrive for a while – he must stay

  4. adam from ny Says:

    pay them all – the key to the defense starts up front…

    don’t forget how we regularly got gashed for mega rushing yards for years when mccoy was here…

    remember how porous this front used to be when alexander was chasing guys all over…

    sign the whole crew of main guys including gholsten and nassib

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Sign him for 3 years or franchise him but he should be priority #1, then jpp, suh, nassib, and fix the defense. Then get a RB that can carry 20-25 times and draft a RT, RB, Safety, or get some via FA….sign andy dalton and go to the playoffs. Last bengal qb that arians worked with it turned out pretty good

  6. Robert Says:

    franchise tag…….you don’t long term over one good year. even though he was great.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    hump turned down the PATS who offered more money…..
    anthony barr turned down the JETS who offered more money….

    i believe he’ll stay and get what he’s worth…..he should be the first to be re-signed followed by JPP and SUH….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I get a feeling the players think they are close to something special, if only that one guy would stop throwing the ball to the other team. Maybe they wait to see who the QB is next year. That might play into some decisions. Shaq would be my #1 priority because of his age.

  9. K2 Says:

    It sounds like Shaq love Tampa…almost as much as we love him. Hoping for a long-term deal!

  10. Craig Says:

    Signing him to a multi=year contract with a decent guarantee and tons of incentive is much less risk than doing the same with Jameis.

    He not only has mad skills, he has a drive motor that doesn’t have an off button. Save the franchise tag for Suh and draft and interior d-lineman.

  11. Sleepy903 Says:

    I hope he does give a slight discount but get paid well. Luckily Florida doesnt have state taxes. I dont know if teams or fans emphasize that as much as we do here in Texas. 18 million in Texas and Florida go a lot further than 18 million in NY or California. I live in Dallas and we talk about it all the time when it comes to coaching hires for the major colleges and the players for Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

  12. Tampabucfan88 Says:

    I agree there is a risk with the tag here but I would use it u don’t pay Defensive player examples remember when Vic Beasley has that 15 sack season what happen the next year and remember all of us saying we need to pay will Gholston that money now half of u are want the Bucs to cut him now I’m not saying let him go but he’s ur no one focus you need to really think hard should he tag him if he dose well like gets 10 sacks then we could see what we can get also that why I keep saying draft a DE in the first round insurance

  13. lowercaseg Says:

    pay them all

  14. Clean House Says:

    Common sense,
    You must be lacking some if you think Nassib should be payed more than Suh

  15. Clean House Says:


  16. ColBucFan Says:

    Long term deal. Shaq is for real…has been since his days at CSU.

  17. Eric Says:

    Must be nice to contemplate how many millions your going to make.

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    this is awesome….. shaq saying all the right things setting low standard foolish bucfans up for a MEGA NUTPUNCH when he bolts for more money and more importantly postseason HOPE!!!!! Guaranteed Glazers will screw this up! They always do! History proves this! Bucs are a rodeo clown sideshow nothing more under the glazers….

  19. common sense Says:

    Clean House,
    Nassib is absolutely going to get paid more than Suh. Sorry that’s not even a question. I’m very interested to know why you think Suh should be paid more…

  20. Smashsquatch Says:

    Shaq’s slimy agent will certainly mess this up big time, guaranteed. Franchise him, make him prove it, and go shopping for a QB. Winston is just another option, as opposed to the only option if you franchise him.

  21. Steven007 Says:

    How on Earth could I know at the very beginning of this article that the name Michael Bennett would be somewhere within?

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    Shaq will likely produce less sacks without the current players lined up with him.

  23. Sport Says:

    If he is ok getting paid like a linebacker, we will sign him. If he wants DE money, we will lose him. If he can get $10M more per year with another team for 4-5yrs, he’s gone and its back to the drawing board for us. Simple equation.

    In BA I Trust!

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I had the same reaction as you when I saw that pic. But as you say while it looks bad it doesn’t seem to harm his play.

    And then I remembered the ugliest body I have ever seen in a Bucs uni is considered by many to be the best Buc ever…not me but he’s top five for sure.
    And Sapp always played with a big boiler hanging over his belt. But it never seemed to harm his quickness and Buddha bellies seem to increase strength if anything..Vita Vea seems quick and we know he possesses manbeast strength.

    I guess I understand greed. Do we need some financial geeks here…Since we have musicians, cardiologists etc gotta believe we have financial advisers.

    Please explain the pain and suffering trying to plan your financial future with JUST 20 million instead of 25 million. Is it possible to even retire on 20 million? Oh the humanity!!!

    If Shaq loves it here…and why wouldn’t he given that Bowles helped make him a star and gave him the opportunity Denver did not…no more moves for his family…then again..if greed wins out…

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Common Sense … $45 mil is in the ballpark for the 4 IMO, but I think the numbers will work out a little differently:

    o JPP … $13 mil (3 year deal with $20 mil guaranteed)
    o Barrett … $16 mil (4 year deal with $35 mil guaranteed)
    o Suh … $10 mil (2 year deal with $10 mil guaranteed)
    o Nassib … $7 mil (4 year deal with $15 mil guaranteed)

    Deal lengths might be off by a year or so, but all these guys have shown that they can play (Barrett is NOT a 1-year wonder in THIS system). The wildcard in this whole thing is Ndamukong Suh. He doesn’t need the Bucs’ money like StPete said; it’s about RESPECT. Two more years here & he’ll be 35 and probably ready to hang it up. Many fans seem to conveniently forget that Suh was the NUMBER TWO pick in the 2010 draft. The man has missed TWO GAMES IN 10 years. He’s AVERAGED 85% defensive snaps per year over those 10 years. You don’t get on the field that much by being mediocre. Ndamukong Suh is a MOUNTAIN MAN and he’s been a fantastic addition to this defense.

    Don’t screw this up Jason by trying to ‘go cheap’ on the defense. You did that last year with a bunch of rookies and 1-year ‘try-before-buy’ FA contracts. Well, JPP, Barrett, Suh & several others proved themselves in this system. Build the DEFENSE FIRST for a change. It’ll take around $90 mil IMO to make that happen. Pay it … and be grateful.

  26. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:

    I hope he signs, because I want to buy a Shaq Barrett jersey… I hate buying one and then they go play for some other team… Or worse, they get released.


  27. tmaxcon Says:


    Spoken like a true communist…. greed is good…. if there were no greedy people there would be no one to fund all the handouts for mentally weak freeloaders….

  28. pelbuc Says:

    Pay them all to keep the defense intact, then worry about a QB.

  29. catcard202 Says:

    Offer Shaq 3yrs/$48M & see if he’s willing to accept a short fair market deal to stay in Tampa…As the guaranteed $ off that kind of contract would offer generational security for himself & his family.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:


    As usual agree with and am informed by your post. In a fantasy world Licht would allow you to be the capologist and LUV to be the head talent scout for college talent and the draft.

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Sorry dude…I hate condescension but in your case I think the board here will understand. You’re too damn dumb and poorly educated to even know what communism is about. So no debate from me sir. There’s an old saying that the folks will get immediately in reference to you.

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … LMAO. That would be a fantasy world. But it’s a lot easier to comment on JBF than to do it for real & have everyone throw spears at you like we all do at JL. But of course that’s why Jason gets paid the big bucks.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Bruce Arians: “He ain’t going anywhere.”

    It’s just a matter of how much $$$.

  34. Wesley Says:

    Just don’t pay him too stupid much.

  35. Clean House Says:

    Common Sense, please read Defense Rules post about Suh, that is towards my thinking.
    Suh Dominates, has for years.

    Now write a paragraph concerning Nassib.
    Does dominance really even enter? Does he consistently change games?
    Do other team have to plan or account for him?
    Suh steamrolls the opponent and wears them down. I believe he is far more responsible for the amazing run D. Starts with him and Vea overwhelming teams.

    Suh is cool, calculated, tough and clear. He is a force.

    Is Nassib a force to be reckoned with? I believe Suh, JPP and Barret are most jmportant for team mental makeup.

    Nassib seams to be known as silly and a bit crazy- these other guys are focused, Suh and JPP start our attitude off in the right direction

    Nassib is doing welll and young still a work in progress- these other guys are important and well established

    Not so much Barrett but hard to argue with what he produced

  36. tmaxcon Says:

    comparing nassib to suh’s impact during a season is like comparing Rosie O’Donnell to Gisele on the runway in a swimsuit….

  37. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    We need enough for BA. To sign Teddy Bridgewater….

  38. Cobraboy Says:

    I really, really like Nassib. But if there is an odd man out, it’s him. Rookie Nelson has a similar body and playing style as Nassib, of course Nelson is an unknown.

    If Nassib wants to be a part of this, he will have to take less $$$. Maybe a one-year dealio?

    Bucs absolutely need to keep Suh.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    Shaq makes the perfect tackle when sacking the QB. That’s why he has 18.5 sacks and not tons of roughing the passer calls in this soft roughing the passer league. Drop Suh and draft monster of the 3-4 Javon Kinlaw. Resign Nassib and JPP.

  40. SOEbuc Says:


    David and Vea are on that defensive list as well. I really hope these new jerseys are very cool.

  41. SB Says:

    Joe in that last paragraph you forgot to type “For No Good Reason”

  42. Anonymous Says:

    “Horrifically stupid decision “ is part of the Bucs’ DNA.

  43. The Coroner Says:

    “Horrifically stupid decision” is part of the Bucs’ DNA.

  44. TDTB Says:

    I believe they have too many FA’s to keep the band together. If Kinlaw is the 1st round pick, Suh is out. If Herbert is the 1st round pick, JW is out. I think Nassib is out regardless unless he’s willing to be paid like a bench player. There’s some very good DE talent at top of draft, but it doesn’t look that deep to me…and I don’t see an elite DE dropping to TB in the first. There’s good rushing DE/LB bench strength though in later rounds. All this to me means they have to resign JPP and Shaq or replace one of them with another free agent. I really think Herbert and Kinlaw are the 1st round targets. No idea which one (if either) will fall to Bucs. If both do then they’ll be a spirited debate at One Buc. If nether fall to the Bucs, I’d pull the trigger on Deloitte or trade down for more picks.

  45. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    Common if they sign jw too then that total goes up to 70 to 75 million.
    Joe remember we dont have state tax so not sure on the math but if a team that has state tax they’d have to offer at least few mill more than us to equal the bucs offer right

  46. TOM Says:

    Like pelbuc said, need to keep the defense intact. Then worry about Winston. BA seems to like Bengals QB’s, then sign Dalton for 17mil that would certainly help pay the defense.