Shaq Barrett No. 5

January 11th, 2020

Ranked in Bucs history.

Now this is an interesting trip down memory lane.

Joe has seen and read folks on Twitter in recent weeks wonder if Bucs outside linebacker Shaq Barrett was the team’s best free agent pickup.

It seems Scott Smith of decided to put fingers to keyboard to expand upon this question.

Smith recounts a host of free agents who had impact. As far as Shaq is concerned, Smith believes Shaq is No. 5.

5. OLB Shaquil Barrett, 2019

… … It is definitely fair to say that Barrett had the best first season among any player on this list, though he would get strong competition from all of the above players, particularly Jackson and Nickerson. Barrett not only became the first Buccaneer ever to lead the NFL in sacks, he earned Pro Bowl and second-team _AP_ All-Pro recognition and is likely to receiver some support for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Barrett also tied for the league lead with 37 quarterback hits and was only one of the top spot in forced fumbles, with six. His 19.5 sacks are tied for the 13th-most in a single season in the NFL since that stat became official in 1982. Barrett led the charge for a Bucs defense that produced 47 sacks, its second-highest total ever, and was part of a front seven that was the toughest in the NFL – and in Bucs history – to run against. Here’s hoping Barrett remains a Buccaneer and gets a chance to move higher on this list.

Smith has a solid list. Barrett at No. 5 may seem a bit high (for now). Why? We don’t know if Shaq’s superior season was a fluke or not. And there is always the real possibility Shaq, expected to be a free agent in a few weeks, may be playing ball somewhere else in 2020 and beyond.

One guy Joe believes Smith ranked way too low is Jeff Garcia No. 12. And one could argue he should be ranked higher than Shaq.

The former 49ers quarterback led the Bucs to the playoffs in 2007 and a nine-win season in 2008. Yes, Garcia was thrown out the side door of One Buc Palace after the 2008 season as the team purged its aging players and lone Super Bowl-winning coach. The franchise has yet to recover from that.

The best free agent in Smith’s rankings? That’s a no-brainer: Simeon Rice. The legendary edge rusher is a borderline Hall of Famer. That signing proved what a moronic move it is for a team to let a gifted pass rusher escape in free agency.

That’s something the Bucs found out the hard way when some braindead @ss decided to let Michael Bennett walk away for no good reason after the 2012 season. An idiotic stunt the Bucs finally overcame just last year, some seven years later, thanks in large part to Shaq himself.

28 Responses to “Shaq Barrett No. 5”

  1. Steven007 Says:

    Bennett was sold and ascending but there was no way to know what he would become. It was really nothing like Rice who was a high first-round pick and had already had significant success. That said, it was obviously a poor decision on all fronts to let him leave for what would have been relative pennies.

  2. Steven007 Says:

    *Bennett was solid…

  3. ATLBucs Says:

    Barrett is no one-year-wonder. When he played behind Von Miller, he had great production in very limited time. This past season proved that with playing time, Shaq will produce.

  4. Blame Jameis Says:

    All my socks have holes in them, it must be Jameis’ fault.

  5. Swampbuc Says:

    Mark Dominik let Bennett walk. Joe. This need not be repeated repeatedly. He was the GM. If someone in the Glazer family ordered him to do it and he disagreed, he should have threatened to resign. And if not, (a) no wonder Dominik is typing for the third string, and (b) no wonder the Glazers own the most moribund franchise in the NFL.

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    Shaq # 6 after one season is quite impressive. Scott’s top 20 free agents is a great list. I thought for sure it would favor recent signings over the historic ones but it was a great balance.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    You’re right ATLBUCS, Shaq is no ‘one-year-wonder’ but he is the product of a defensive scheme & supporting players that create situations for him to ‘feed’.

    Shaq started off the year like gangbusters (9 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF, 10 QB Hits, 7 TFL & 20 tackles … in the 1st FOUR games), but then had comparatively almost no production in the next 2 games against the Saints & Panthers (0 sacks, 0 INT, 0 FF, 0 QB Hits, 0 TFL & 3 tackles). Why? Just speculation obviously, but I think it took the first 4 games for the other teams to figure out this new Bucs’ defense … and Shaq. Once they keyed on him, tough sledding ahead.

    But now look at the next 10 games & a different (and more consistent) picture emerges. One critical addition: JPP made it back starting in our 7th game (against Tennessee) & that compounded the opposing offenses’ problems, BIG TIME. Who do you key on with TWO SACKMASTERS?

    Over our last 10 games (with JPP playing almost 84% of our defensive snaps & Shaq playing over 76% of the snaps) Shaq became a more CONSISTENT producer … 10.5 sacks, 0 INT, 3 FF, 27 QB Hits, 12 TFL & 35 tackles. Interestingly, Shaq’s production was steady with some ‘big spurts’ in there. The 1st Panthers game, Giants game, Jaguars game & the 2 Falcons games were HUGE for Shaq … in those 5 games (31% of our 16 games) he got 13 of his sacks (67%), 22 QB Hits (59%) & 11 TFLs (58%). Not too shabby IMO.

    It seems logical to conclude that Shaq is an outstanding producer IN THIS TYPE OF DEFENSE and that he, like every great sackmaster, NEEDS a strong defense to optimize his skillset. JPP was a critical player IMO, but so were Vea & Suh to dominate inside. Don’t blow it Jason.

  8. Sport Says:

    Spot on as usual DR!

    Keep this entire defense together! They are a known and proven unit, which to me is a higher priority than offense.

    I’ll go with BA when he quickly said ‘sure, we can win with this QB or another one’.

    In BA I Trust!

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Shaq is an all round DE/linebacker that would fit in a lot of systems. I say that
    because he plays both the run and the pass pretty well. I would also attribute
    some of those spurts to how he matches up against his opponent. Remember Adrian Clayburn and his five sack game . At any rate ,he sure is wearing a multimillion dollar smile.

  10. Matt Says:

    With another double digit sack season and a reduction in turnovers by Jameis ( we are a playoff team if he can reel it in), JPP will soar up this list with credit in turning around this franchise after Betaboy McCoy’s tenure.

    Barrett easily could have had the all time record! I can count 6-8 where he was very close. He’s a great guy too I’m always smiling after I hear his interviews. Where ever he goes I’ll be a fan he’s easy to root for.

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree with DR, D line needs to stay intact . Don’t blow it by offering low ball
    offers to Suh, Barrett or JPP. Make it happen Jason! There are no asterisks in any of these players games. Pay for performance not untapped potential.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob … You’re spot on in that Shaq does play ‘both the run & the pass pretty well’. Shaq’s ‘spurts’ are a little misleading & I should’ve clarified. He had 5 games on the season where he ‘beasted out’ IMO …

    o Game 2 (Carolina – 3 sacks, 4 QB Hits, 3 TFL)
    o Game 3 (Giants – 4 sacks, 4 QB Hits, 3 TFL)
    o Game 11 (Falcons – 1 sack, 5 QB Hits, 1 TFL)
    o Game 12 (Jaguars – 2 sacks, 4 QB Hits, 1 TFL)
    o Game 16 (Falcons – 3 sacks, 5 QB Hits, 3 TFL)

    In those first 2 games on the list, I think our opponents were still trying to figure out what they were up against. I suspect that you’re right in that those last 3 games on the list Shaq matched up very well against the opposing OLines. But even without those ‘spurts’, he was a very consistent performer in the 10 games that JPP was also out there. We need BOTH to keep improving this defense, as well as Vea & Suh to shut down the run up the middle, and to put pressure via the interior.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    As usual ,nothing wrong with your analysis, I just added a little wrinkle to it.
    Carry on, my Brother.

  14. Colonel Angus Says:

    I don’t think 19.5 sacks is a fluke, maybe a career year.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob … I’ve noticed as Ive gotten older that the wrinkles keep spreading. I feel much better that your addition was just a little one. Thanks for being merciful. Carrying on. (BTW, ever eaten at the Shrimp Boat here in Valrico? Best stuffed flounder I’ve found anywhere).

  16. PUGS&BUCS Says:

    “Garcia was thrown out the side door of One Buc Palace after the 2008 season as the team purged its aging players and lone Super Bowl-winning coach…..”

    People forget. Who did they jettison Garcia for?

    Byron Leftwich.

    …. who promptly came in and went 0-8.

  17. Bird Says:

    10-12 sacks is a fluke

    Almost 20 sacks
    Thats a baller
    He was behind 2 high top draft picks and former defensive
    Mvp in denver.

    Sign the man
    But you have to have someone on other side (like JPp type)
    So he cant get doubled every single snap
    He needs to feed on one vs one matchups some times.

  18. Steven007 Says:

    Matt, Betaboy is really a spot-on description of GMC. He was no alpha dog that’s for sure.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Merciful, what’s you talking about. Your post was the thought provoker.
    As for the shrimp boat ,ate at the old location but I repeated your recommendation to wife just now. Now if I could find a restaurant that could
    do pompano en papillote like the now defunct Pepins in St Pete I would be a happy camper. We were told they cook their stuffing all day with shrimp and
    just the right of spice to perk it up.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    amount of spice

  21. Lavonte 1of1 Says:

    I knew when Licht signed Barrett he would make an impact but never did I think this much. Even before Ira began to talk up Barrett I knew we had a special player. He’s practically a Vonn Miller clone.

  22. GreatInBend Says:

    Keyshawn Johnson didn’t make the list? 3x 1000 seasons. Super Bowl.

    Do trades count? Probably not. But if so, Logan Mankins was a great pick up.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bob- that Pompano was one of the best dishes I ever had. Since Pepins, I haven’t seen it anywhere.
    Thanks for the trip down mouth-watering lane!

  24. Rob Says:

    I’m kind of surprised Keenan McCardell doesn’t make the back end of that list.

  25. Rob Says:

    Trades don’t count, but you’re wondering about Keyshawn, who Rich McKay traded for. 🙂

  26. Bob in Valrico Says:

    how about that salad and red snapper a la vascar?

  27. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree 100% on Pepins. The Pompano was the best but their steak was good as well and Jose Cortez the owner turned me on to Coffee Cortado.

    I’ve always felt that Licht’s real downfall was not his draft picks but his FA’s.
    Swaggy was my favorite! snark font off now.

    This year’s FA crop was the best I can remember in a LONG time if ever.

    Shaq in the debate for top five…less flash but Suh made a big difference and Perriman blew up this year.

    This leaves us with a great problem…needing to resign them all.

  28. PUGS&BUCS Says:

    You don’t FLUKE into 19.5 sacks.