Key To Bucs

February 9th, 2020


Yes, we all know that 19.5 sacks is a boatload of sacks.

But Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report puts Shaq Barrett’s fantastic 2019 season into perspective with one jarring number.

Shaq accounted for 41 percent of the Bucs’ sacks. He also had 22 percent of the Bucs’ quarterback hurries (when a quarterback is pressured or flushed).

That’s a big chunk to lose.

Simply put, the Bucs would literally be shooting themselves in the foot by letting Shaq escape, Gagnon writes.

The sky has to be considered the limit considering his light usage in Denver.

The Bucs can’t afford to lose a player who accounted for 41 percent of their sacks in 2019. They’d probably also like to bring back impending free-agent front-seven defenders Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib, but those guys aren’t game-changers like Barrett is (at least not anymore).

The good news is the Bucs can easily afford the franchise tag and can outspend pretty much everyone else in football if they so choose.

For months, Joe has been beating the drum the Bucs should franchise tag Shaq. And if Shaq proves he’s not a fluke and has a monster year again in 2020, he can make even more cash than if he hadn’t been tagged. When have salaries ever gone down?

Joe is of the mind the Bucs need to try to keep the big three defensive free agents: Shaq, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. Each are really important to the Bucs defense in their own way.

And we saw how teams started to take out Shaq until JPP returned to the field. Not many teams had luck shutting down both Shaq and JPP. They worked with each other better than David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen.

17 Responses to “Key To Bucs”

  1. ManzielMadness Says:

    That’s the biggest difference between Barrett and JPP, JPP can still get to the QB when all attention is focused his way. Barrera good, but He can’t do it by himself.

  2. Blue-footed booby Says:

    Joe you do know that Shaq can just wait until like November before he is obligated to show up to play if he is franchised tagged by the team right? Sure. And the Bucs can also tag Shaq and tear up the tag over the summer and negotiate a new deal. Shaq also doesn’t get paid if he sits at home. Shaq doesn’t strike Joe as the kind of player who’s going to pout because he has to eat $17 million next season, especially considering how little he has earned in his career.–Joe Assuming the CBA doesn’t changes from its current form for this year at least then Shaq can just refuse to sign the tag until I think around week 10 in November of the season and still have his season ‘count’ for free agency purposes. Didn’t Vincent Jackson do something similar in San Diego before we signed him in 2012?

    By holding out until the final 6 or so games of the year, Barrett and Rosenhaus can at least make the case to other teams in 2021 offseason that any potential decline of his performance in 2020 was related to small sample size, rust, or hard feelings from the contract dispute. And to be honest, I think at least a couple other teams would still shell out big cash to Shaq in 2021 in that scenario since there’s seemingly always some NFL teams with a ton of cap space each offseason.

  3. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Gotta give Jason Licht credit for Shaq and JPP after years and years of miserable free agent signings. But regardless, Jason Licht simply cannot afford a bad off-season with the draft and free agency coming up.

    I know we’re all talking about the QB but that’s not gonna make or break a team which still has too many holes on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Have to build a better and more complete team regardless of who the QB is.

    The guy still can’t a kicker who’s not a basketcase to save his life.

  4. Blue-footed booby Says:

    Well if you say so Joe, but I must say did Vincent Jackson ever strike you as a type of guy to pull stunts like holding out during contract disputes when he was here? Because he did just that when the Chargers tried to franchise tag him in San Diego. I guess that question is mostly moot because he had already gotten a big contract from us by the time he put on a Buccaneers uniform.

    Still the point is that even if a player appears to be (and perhaps really is) genuine in his desire to do one thing, ultimately when said player meets with his agent and family he may opt for a different strategy altogether when push comes to shove. I hope Shaq returns, but I refuse to believe that will happen until he signs on the dotted line.

  5. Stanglassman Says:

    Shaq is a high priority no doubt. The Bucs will know by mid March where they’re at with the contracts and position priorities. I’d like them to go into the draft with maximum flexibility. I think signing Shaq and JPP are highest DL priorities If the Bucs don’t sign Suh they can target DT Mike Daniels in FA or draft Javon Kinlaw. I don’t believe the Bucs would get near the production needed from a rookie DE/OLB.
    Other FA options are if they don’t fill the need in the draft are S HaHa Clinton-Dix and Rb Chris Thompson. I can see the need for a quality 3rd down receiving Rb. That’s if David Johnson trade isn’t too rich and if they don’t want to trust a rookie in pass pro.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Easy to agree that the Bucs NEED to re-sign Shaq and can afford to do so, but statements like we can “outspend pretty much everyone else in football if they so choose” are baffling. At this PRESENT MOMENT our Bucs have a BUNCH of holes in our starting offensive & defensive lineups. Our DEPTH is woeful in a number of areas. Put those two together and we’ll be spending a LOT of money to be competitive in 2020 & beyond.

    At this PRESENT MOMENT the Bucs have 49 players under contract for a grand total of $125.5 mil. Thankfully we’ve got almost zero Dead Cap ($88K) and have $11.6 mil available in 2019 Rollover Cap. Assuming that the new 2020 Salary Cap is $199 mil (Spotrac’s projection), that means that the Bucs have $210.6 mil to start with (salary Cap PLUS rollover) MINUS $125.6 mil (Top-51 salaries PLUS Dead Cap). That leaves us with $85.0 mil to complete our team.

    Bucs problem is that we have a BUNCH of holes to fill in our starting lineups (guys who got a LOT of snaps on both sides of the ball in 2019). On the offensive side: QB, RT, RB. On the defensive side: DT, DE (2), OLB. That’s 7 STARTERS right there who we NEED to re-sign or replace through either free agency or the draft. Add in the cost of signing or drafting key rotational players AND quality DEPTH, and Bucs’ management will have their hands full trying to field a competitive 2020 TEAM.

    Our available $85 mil could just about get eaten up by JUST the 7 starting positions we NEED to fill if we’re not ‘prudent’ shall we say. For instance, even assuming that we get 2 starters (say a RT & RB) in the draft at a cost of only $4-$5 mil, those other 5 STARTING positions (QB plus our ‘Big-4’ on defense) could easily end up costing us $70-$75 mil. That’s $75-$80 mil of the available $85 mil salary Cap space eaten up on just those starters. Not much left there to sign all those key rotational & depth players we’d STILL need to complete our roster.

    But ya, let’s keep talking about signing high-priced FAs like Brady or Brees, or giving Winston or Godwin high-dollar long-term contracts this year. Those fall into the same category of wishful thinking IMO as ‘If pigs had wings they could fly’.

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Shaq is a gem we lucked into. I see no reason not to trust that he can repeat his performance. He is not a one hit wonder like Noah Spence. I expect any LB/DE
    end to be able to defend both the pass and the run and Shaq has proven he is up to the task in both areas.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s not just the sacks with Shaq & JPP…’s their attitudes……they are fantastic players in every respect……they are the core of our defense…..we must keep both.

  9. TDTB Says:

    Defense Rules is correct. I personally think the Bucs have too many second teamers/rotational players on higher contracts. Every time I play the “what if” game (taking into account what players are most likely to be available in the draft), I see Suh, Nassib, Allen and Nunez-Roches walking, JPP and Barrett being signed, OL, DL and RB being addressed in draft. That will leave far less money for Jameis than he is rumored to want. If he doesn’t take what’s available I think the Bucs are grabbing a FA QB. Personally, I think Bridgewater is the best FA QB for the Bucs because he would/could be a multi-year solution. I just don’t see the others as more than 2 year options.

  10. Pewter Power Says:

    Why are you beating the drum for a tag anyway why wouldn’t they be able to sign him long term? Media loves to exaggerate. Yes it would be horrible if he escaped but if we ultimately have the ability to tag him if a deal can’t get done it’s makes it dumb for people to sat it in every article about the Bucs. I’ll be glad when we do sign him so people can stop saying how horrible it would be to let him walk even though both sides want a deal

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    Problem is you only have one franchise tag. Do you use it on Shaq or Jameis? To me, it makes more sense to use it on Jameis. Sign Shaq. The guy’s got a motor, and he’s no one-year wonder. We’ve been looking for a consistent pass rusher for years. We’ve now got an excellent pass rusher (two if we keep JPP). Keep the star pass rusher. End of story.

  12. Buczilla Says:

    As much as Licht has screwed up in the past, I just don’t see how he can mess this up (oh boy, may have put my foot in my mouth). Sign Shaq AND JPP first and foremost. Jameis, Godwin, Suh, and everyone else should come after. If signing Jameis to a one year deal or tagging him means we lose out on Sun or Nassib, so be it.

  13. footballjunkie Says:

    @Defense…your analysis is poor. And off the mark in your cap rationale.

    Too long to explain.

  14. OneBuc55 Says:

    I agree with you Joe; I think tagging Barrett is probably the best approach with him…As of right now, he’s just a 1 year wonder…

    If he follows it up with another double digits sack season then imo we should pay him accordingly…We also cant underestimate the importance of Suh…All of the dirty work he does won’t necessarily show up on a stat sheet…If Suh isn’t retained itll be interesting to see how that affects Barrett’s production…

  15. Pewter Power Says:

    Shaq is not a one year wonder, he is a guy who broke a hall of famers sack record for a franchise known for defense and it was the first opportunity he was given as a starter. Dont minimize a guys accomplishments in order to devalue his worth especially when people love to mention winston taking josh Freeman’s records. That was no small feet, he bet on himself and won, you can pay a guy 4 million on a prove it deal then say hey you did what we asked you to do but screw what we said prove it again.

  16. martinii Says:

    Logic tells me to spend our cap space on keeping our current top performer’s and use the draft to fill the holes. It can’t be done in one year but we are in much better shape with $85mil than may other teams. A second year under BA and at least a more manageable schedule might get us to the Wild Card round.

  17. Dapostman Says:

    Only 2 players have had multiple years of 19+ sacks. Ware n Gastineau. So if you think Shaq is going to replicate that again the odds are against him. 12/13 sacks in 2020 would be my guesstimate. So if you want to lock him up for multiple years pay him accordingly to that. You can always add bonuses.