How Important Is Shaq Barrett?

February 15th, 2021


Joe came across a list of the top sack artists in the NFL since 2018.

Joe is confident Bucs fans know sack king Shaq Barrett is among the best at putting quarterbacks on the ground. It is the most important thing in a passing league.

Joe honestly doesn’t think the Bucs beat the Packers in the NFC title game without Shaq. It’s debatable how effective the defense would have been against Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl without Shaq.

Shaq in the playoffs was a monster, which is exactly when you want your best players to shine.

Of course, Shaq is a free agent. He was franchised last year and made the fourth-most of any outside linebacker in 2020 at $16 million. Is Shaq’s agent, oily Drew Rosenhaus, really going to try for more money? Seriously?

And if the Bucs don’t re-sign Shaq (they could franchise him a second time), are they really willing to let him walk? Who exactly would the Bucs replace him with?

Unless the Bucs are willing to trade for Von Miller (he’s coming off an Achilles injury) or Chandler Jones (he missed most of the 2020 season with a biceps injury) or sign free agent Bud Dupree (blew out a knee in December), there aren’t pass rushers at outside linebacker in Shaq’s league.

Jones and Miller may be had for a trade as they are entering the final year of their contracts. There’s also speculation Miller will be cut.

In a way, Rosenhaus has the Bucs over a barrel. But is Shaq really worth much more than he is currently being paid? Joe is guessing the issue with Rosenhaus is contract length.

67 Responses to “How Important Is Shaq Barrett?”

  1. Kalind Says:

    Matt Judon could work, and if the cap goes down or is around 180ish, there’s gonna be a lottttt of talent getting cut.

    Not saying I don’t want shaq back…but it’s a buyers market

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Of course he is important, but his numbers may be skewed a bit because not only is he on a team that blitzes a lot, he also has awesome talent around him, so he does not see as many double teams as say Aaron Donald or TJ Watt did.

  3. Robert Says:

    oily drew?….well shaq is gone. He did a bang up job in the playoffs though.

    one thing is for sure we have to keep him or JPP…..and draft DE 1st round and get watt at a discount or someone else.

    yall do remember shaq had not done much before coming here right? find another one if needed. They’re out there, just not household names.

    look real deep for players on the cusp and team friendly deals with vets with an issue or two that makes them affordable

  4. Buxszntkt Says:

    What’s the cost a the second consecutive tag Joe ?
    I absolutely think they need to keep Suh, Shaq and LVD. That comes with the heartbreaking notion that it may cost us CG. But the 19 sack year was a statistical outlier for a guy teams didn’t scheme for at the outset of the year. We saw without Vea this year teams could scheme better for JPP and Shaq !
    Still , he’s awesome and he is faster than JPP, we saw that giving chase to Mahomies, JPP was left in the dust by Shaq chasing PM backwards.
    Of course with TB releasing the ball at 2.5 seconds how many times will AB get downfield the way he used to with Big Ben’s extended plays ?
    Is AB going to become more of a slot player, Julian Edelman style , maybe ?

  5. Joe Says:

    What’s the cost a the second consecutive tag Joe ?

    Won’t know for sure until the cap is set. For this past season Shaq was tagged for $16 million.

  6. Joe Says:

    find another one if needed.

    Good luck with that.

    The Bucs admitted last year (2019) that they had no clue Shaq was going to blow up like he did. They were hoping he’d be an eight-sack a year guy.

  7. I CARE NOW Says:

    What is more debatable is what would have Shaq or JPP done without Vea. Com on Man.

    How many FA are available that can replace 8 sacks. EIGHT. 8???

    JJ Watt anyone!!!

    Don’t forget what the schedule looked like in 2019. Not like we had the hardest schedule ever.

    Just saying, is Carl Nassib available??? Vea makes DE/OLBs money like JW makes corners money and The Unicorn make WRs money.

    Shaq is wonderful but NOT the priority. PLEASE STOP with the BS

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I wonder if Yannick Ngakoue is going to be franchise tagged by Baltimore? Probably will be. Matt Judon is another decent pass rusher, he went to a small school in Michigan.

  9. I CARE NOW Says:

    Also, consider that we just put up 30 plus points a game on offense. Who is more important to maintaining that kind of success. Shaq or Godwin.

    And no one could have predicted 19.5 sacks out of Shaq as a FA. BUT I am sure projecting 8 is not so difficult.

    Remember, the MVP of the SB was Todd, not Shaq or his “pressures”. To which he likely doesnt get if LVD isnt locking down his guy.

    Com on Joe. Get a grip. This aint Bennett. This is a Back up that got hot because the team around him was even hotter. NOT WORTH THE MONEY and his agent further confirms my point.

    BY SHAQ, love ya but do not NEED YA.

  10. I CARE NOW Says:

    We barley beat your favorite QB is Washington THIS year in the Playoffs. WHY? Is he better than #15???

    Oh wait, VEEEEEEEA wasn’t in that game.

    Reality says. You can’t be the man if your NOT the MAN.

    Mount Vea is the KEY to this puzzle on D. BANK IT

  11. Mitch Says:

    Many Bucs fans here have short memories. You don’t let an established pass rusher leave the building. Especially one whose disruption causes turnovers and is a complete player.

  12. Joe Says:

    Shaq or Godwin.

    Shaq, and Joe very much has a grip.

    Joe LOVES Godwin but if you think a pass rusher is trivial, that tells Joe you just do not pay attention to football.

    Every halfway decent NFL suit will tell you the only position more important than a pass rusher is quarterback.

    The Bucs were horrid during the Lost Decade. They also did not have a pass rush during the Lost Decade. Coincidence? Of course not.

  13. I CARE NOW Says:

    Its Trivial when you have TWO 2 TWO other guys on the team that had MORE sacks. (Regular Season).

    Just saying. Again, not like this is a Bennett situation.

  14. Karma Says:

    We may not be able to keep Shaq…..rewatched the superbowl and man does he stand out.

    Dude has a legit motor that does not quit until the qb is on the ground.

    Please rewatch if you get the chance. We may have to have a plan B.

    Most teams have no cap space and need to shed. Only a handful of teams have the space and they are bottom feeders. Let him go to the Jets or the Jags as they need a splash signing!

  15. I CARE NOW Says:

    Coincidence, they also didn’t have a coach or QB.

    And you can’t say Shaq is more important to the offense scoring 30 plus a game vs Godwin. WTH Joe?

    Besides, we always had GMC. So we had a “pass rush” just not MULTIPLE pass rushers or DBs that allowed ROLE PLAYERs to Excel.

    Shaq is a role player. He is not S. Rice. JPP has that mantle. We just can’t afford to pay top dollar to a guy that is a role player and has average FAR below 10 sacks for his CAREER.

  16. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Cannot lose shaq. He is the #1 priority this offseason. You need to reward guys that produce at a high level for you. Yes he took a step back this year, but he switched side and had more attention on him. If he can flirt with 10 sacks on any given year and have a 20 sack potential you pay him. Who can we get to replace that in f.a. that will cost any less? Remember, jpp is getting up there in age. Love the guy, but he wont be here forever

  17. SB~LV Says:

    Rare as hens teeth!
    No attitude or off field bagage +++
    Age +++
    Time in system +++
    Break da bank !

  18. Bird Says:

    Shaq is a role player^^


    Yah role players get 18.5 sacks in a year. He was just lucky i guess
    Not a baller. 😂 Pure luck.
    And dont forget he missed a game this year and still had almost double digit sacks

    And dont forget shaq played on opposite left side then his dominant side (right) to accommodate jpp who was put a with broken neck .

  19. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    The second Tag is at 120% of best paid so about 20 mill.Saying Sayonara to Gholston, Brate, and Godwin saves enough dough to keep everybody else including Succop.


  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    “Consecutive franchise tags are allowed; however, for a player to be tagged two straight years, the team must pay 120 percent of the player’s previous salary.”

    $15, 828,000 X 1.20 = $18,993,600

  21. Buc4evr Says:

    We need to keep Shaq at all costs. Having a sack artist is a must in this league now. I love to see the Bucs bring in JJ Watt as a situational player, but he is old and pretty much limited by injuries and not a replacement for Shaq.

  22. Cainishere Says:

    The point I keep hearing is without Vita the line production drops off. So what that means is that Vita can up anyone’s production to elite status. I think Suh has a lot to do with it as well. When you have two beastly men anchoring the defensive line your edge rushers are going to get a lot of high production especially if they are even rookies. Not to take away from JPP or Shaq but both have freely admitted the point many times. GO BUCS!!!! When Vita’s contract comes up he is going to get paid big time.

  23. SKBucsfan Says:

    All the more reason Licht has to draft an edge or big linebacker in the first and maybe second.

  24. Dewey Selmon Says:

    You can’t let him go, him and JPP feed off each other, And they make life easier for Brady in the long run. Keep this defense together and it improves the offense.

  25. SB~LV Says:

    “ When Vita’s contract comes up he is going to get paid big time.”
    Which is the beauty of hitting on a first round pick, 5 year contract.
    Lots of chatter about trading down this year and I am always open to picking up extra picks. Trading out of the first will cost a year of a player’s initial commitment to a team and extremely valuable!

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Spin it,,anyway you like. Shaq is history. Some team gonna throw Mega bucks his way and he will bite as he should. Careers are short and Shaqls about to get paid. Why blame him? I don’t. Get your paper Shaq. Best offer wins baby.

  27. Robert Says:

    you ladies are hilarious. Outside of TB, they are all replaceable…and the more expensive the more replaceable they are.

    you guys would have SB making close to what TB makes! GTFO.

    go look at available OLB and DE, there are guys younger and with more production than Shaq. Love the guy, but let him and CG walk and bring in youth and guys who want a ring and will take less.

    just like when yall said heck no TB aint coming…he’s old, check you sheets ….pay jw 30 mill.

    I might be the class clown, but at least I am on point most of the time.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I hope they resign him. I have absolutely no desire to go through another ten years of Joe complaining that they let a sack artist get away.

  29. Darin Says:

    Look up his stats with and without Vea in there. I dont have time now but lets just say if Vea and Suh are in both guys outside will be singled mostly. There’s plenty of guys who can win one on one’s. The 15 mil n up guys are guys who do it against double teams. He is not that. And i love the guy n dont wana see him go but it might be coming. Life goes on drafts happen guys step up. Shaq was a backup two years ago.

  30. Adrnagy Says:

    Sure go ahead and give a 30 yr old pass rusher 5yr 100m. With decline numbers without vea and suh.

    Resign David , suh and yes nacho ! Before big mouth shaq

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    February 15th, 2021 at 3:01 pm
    I hope they resign him. I have absolutely no desire to go through another ten years of Joe complaining that they let a sack artist get away.

  31. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Shaq and David are priority 1a, 1b.

  32. Drunkinybor Says:

    We absolutely need to keep Shaq. How short are memories are. We have a certified sack master great run stopper team player. If we let him go somewhere else we will end up regretting it more then letting Michael Bennett go, who wanted to stay in Tampa. Bird 🐦 in the hand

  33. Bird Says:

    Ummmmm shaq is 28

    And didnt play as much in denver so less wear and tear by nfl standards

  34. tbbucs3 Says:

    I like how people keep saying Shaq was a backup 2 years ago as if the Denver Broncos are so good at evaluating talent.

    The fans who are willing to let Barrett walk are baffling to me as if they havent learned a single thing watching the Bucs defense play the past 6 years. How many Carl Nassibs, Robert Ayers, Michael Johnsons will we have to go through?

    Pass rushers are not easy to replace, wide receivers are.

  35. Cainishere Says:

    We have 30 free agents. count them THIRTY,
    1. Chris Godwin, Wide Receiver
    2. Lavonte David, Linebacker
    3. Shaquill Barrett, Linebacker
    4. Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
    5. Leonard Fournette, Runing Back
    6. Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle
    7. Steve McLendon, Defensive Tackle
    8. Joe Haeg, Tackle
    9. Ryan Smith, Cornerback
    10. Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver
    11. Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Defensive Tackle
    12. Ryan Griffin, Quarterback
    13. Antony Auclair, Tight End
    14. Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback
    15. Kevin Minter, Lineback
    16. LeSean McCoy, Running Back
    17. A.Q. Shipley, Center
    18. Ryan Succop, Kicker
    19. Andrew Adams, Safety
    20. Josh Wells, Tackle
    21. Ross Cockrell, Cornerback
    22. Kenjon Barner, Running Back
    23. Jaydon Mickens, Wide Receiver
    24. Jack Cichy*, Linebacker
    * Restricted Free Agent

    25. Chapelle Russell, Linebacker
    26. Tanner Hudson*, Tight End
    * Exclusive Rights Free Agent

    27. T.J. Logan, Running Back
    28. Pat O’Connor*, EDGE
    * Exclusive Rights Free Agent

    29. Aaron Stinnie*, Guard
    * Exclusive Rights Free Agent

    30. Zach Triner*, Safety
    * Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    27 million which is what we have left after futures contracts will not cover all of these players unless we use multi-year contracts to secure the larger FA and that is the only way to sign them and to keep the important pieces that we need.

  36. Beeej Says:

    Good pass rush makes an average secondary look all-pro.

  37. Cainishere Says:

    and 7 draft rookies too

  38. ClodHopper Says:

    Quarterbacks and pass blockers/rushers get paid. When you have them you dont let them go. Pay them. Especially if theres no good reason! Go bargain shopping elsewhere.

  39. Steven007 Says:

    Shaq is a good player that had a great year for us two years ago. Decent year this year but really turned it on in the playoffs. I’m good with paying him a fair contract which of course means premium pay. But if he truly wants to break the bank he can do that elsewhere. I too like Judon as I free agent replacement if needed. Possibly Watt depending on his price. I’m sure there are others. Two years ago we’re hoping to squeeze a few sacks out of the guy. Instead he blew up and good for him and us. But if Shaq prices himself out of the market, he can play for the jags or wherever..Bowles can scheme any good pass rusher as long as we have the big guys in the middle.

  40. Coburn Says:

    Shaq is a stud. May not have had as many sacks but rushing mostly from where qb can see him coming. Shows in number of pressures. At this point in their careers I’d rather keep Shaq than JPP. Love the guy, but he’s getting up there and was already banged up and taking practices off last year. Now it may be a moot point just based on how many more million Shaq will want. I know his sack numbers will go up based on him taking over JPP right side and finding a guy to take the left. But yeah may be one of those situations where getting rid of jpp a year early than a year late could be better or it lets us keep the guy in his prime, especially since he would be able to take the side he plays better on

  41. Bird Says:

    Didnt think about this with godwin

    If godwin is odd man out (which i hope he is not but miami and jacksonville in own state want him bad and will pay maybe 20 mil per or close to it)

    How about larry fitzgerald as replacement
    Larry is big dude and can block just like godwin
    Both played in slot.
    Played for arians and he is fan of arians
    Chase a ring in tampa which is something he wants to make story book career ending.

    Put AB on outside with johnson and scooter.

  42. SB~LV Says:

    Shaq won’t “price himself out of the market “
    The market price will be whatever he signs for.
    The market price might be too high for the Bucs however, Shaq will certainly have offers higher than what he signs for with the Bucs.

  43. Steven007 Says:

    SB, semantics, but yes I basically agree. The point is if he wants too much then we can afford with all of our other contractual needs he’ll be getting it from another team.

  44. JimmyJack Says:

    Shaq seems like a very smart person. And I hope he is and realizes he probably better off in the long run here in Tampa……Or at least somewhere else that has a formittable line.

    If he chases money and goes onto a scrub team hes very likely to fizzle out. Lets face it, not every team is going to be able to offer Shaq a VitaV and a Suh to free up opportunities for him. If he stays on a strong defense he probably gets a fat deal now and another big deal later. Not to mention ProBowl considerations and such.

    Ive really grown to like Shaq as a player and a dude. I hope he makes the right decision for himself.

  45. JimmyJack Says:

    Dont worry about how much is too much yall. Theres a lot of flexability in the way they write these contracts. They can literally sign him to a mega deal and finagle to numbers so hes only a 5M CAP hit this year……if they wanna.

    Either way they got a lot of tough decisions to make. Pass rusher is not a decision to mess with imo. They are too rare to find. Find a way to pay this man.

  46. Cainishere Says:

    Please give up on the JJ Watt idea he is OLD AND BUSTED. Shaq would be more economical in the sense that he is more productive and younger at this point.

  47. Jeff Says:



  48. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    is great to have him back? yes it is.Him being back is going to cost us 2-3 important players?? Yes it is.
    Statically, technically, economically, and most important worthy/mathematically what we do?? Let him go, replace him with an average/cheaper player, keep the 2-3 that are much worthy combine.
    That’s my take.
    Thank you ShaBe, great player you are, and we PAID you for that.
    Good Luck !

  49. Joe in Michigan Says:

    While I agree that Shaq is important for the Bucs to resign, the people who act as if guys like Chris Godwin grow on trees, well I’d say that’s incorrect. Godwin checks every box of what you want a football player to be, IMHO.

  50. Buc1987 Says:

    Mike Johnson…..he can be tagged again and he goes nowhere…which kind of blows up your whole post!

  51. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe in Michigan….Brady doesn’t need 5 weapons at WR that’s what makes Godwin expendable imo.

  52. Defense Rules Says:

    @BucsFanSince1976 … “Saying Sayonara to Gholston, Brate, and Godwin saves enough dough to keep everybody else including Succop.”

    Gholston is due to make $5.5 mil in 2021; Brate $6.5 mil; and Godwin isn’t even ours, so Chris leaving save us $0. So cutting Gholston & Brate, both of whom have ZERO Dead CAP thankfully, would save us $12 mil.

    I’m assuming that your ‘everybody else’ includes LVD, Shaq, Suh, Gronk, Brown, Nunez-Roches, Minter, our TWO backup QBs (both FAs) … need I continue? If you can get ALL OF THEM to sign for a mere $12 mil, I suspect that the Bucs’ front office would pay a fortune for your talents.

    Only point being BucsFan … it’s easy for us to say ‘Keep this guy’ or ‘Cut that guy’ or whatever, but Jason Licht and his merry band don’t have that luxury. I don’t envy them their task this year, that being to ‘keep this TEAM together’ so we can compete for another Super Bowl. That’s probably why it’s so hard for SB winners to repeat.

  53. 813bucboi Says:

    Earn your money Licht….keep everyone


  54. lambchop Says:

    2 sack artists in the top 10. I think Shaq benefits more from Vita and JPP than JPP benefits from Vita and Shaq. Just saying.

    The best situation would be to keep the DL intact with a DE/ 3-4 OLB draft pick for one more season to get back to back titles. I would franchise Shaq again.

    I have a feeling one of the players asked to restructure their contract will be Ryan Jensen. They gave him a monster deal and I have a feeling that some of the players will want to restructure their deals to try to keep the band together.

  55. SlyPirate Says:

    Godwin, Shaq, and LVD … I think Bucs only get to keep one.

    I’m keeping LVD if the number isn’t obnoxious.

  56. Miller5252 Says:

    I know there are all these reports that show all his “QB pressures” we’re high, but I didn’t really think he was that dominate during the regular season. I do think that if Shaq is going to be successful he needs a healthy Vita and maybe even Suh. With Vita back for the playoff run, both Shaq and JPP started to go back to last years dominance. I’m sure someone will pay Shaq huge money but he needs Vita in the middle.

  57. Buczilla Says:

    Shaq is very good but hardly the second coming of Lawrence Taylor. I think that he belongs in that second tier of defenders, under dudes like Donald and Mack. As much as I want to keep him, if he’s looking for that kind of $, then I let him walk. Vita is going to make any outside pass rusher look better than what he is, so we can figure it out without Shaq.

    I remember back in the day when Rosenhaus was attempting to extort us on Errict Rhett’s behalf, trying get him him paid like Emmitt Smith. We drafted Dunn and got a third rounder from the Ravens the following year for Rhett. He did very little for the Ravens for two years before finishing his last year in Cleveland. Pretty sure we’d end up with a third rounder if Shaq signs elsewhere, so it’s not all doom and gloom even though Shaq is a better player than Rhett ever was.

  58. I CARE NOW Says:

    Well this has been a great debate. I want to express my appreciation for everyone keeping it clean and fun.

    So, with that in mind. Here is your wrinkle. We can always look to replace DS. Take a look at this Draft Option.

    Pick: OT Sam Cosmi, Texas
    Comments:”While Donovan Smith did turn in the highest single-season PFF grade of his career in 2020 (72.8), he could be a cap casualty considering that Tampa will likely get aggressive with re-signing Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and/or Shaq Barrett this offseason. Releasing Smith would save the Bucs more than $14M in cap space. But even if Smith is retained for the final year of his contract, the Bucs will likely lose a lot of their depth along the offensive line to free agency (Joel Haeg, AQ Shipley, Josh Wells) and would be smart to continue to invest in the position.
    One of the better athletes at his position, the 6-foot-7, 309-pound Cosmi has earned 82.0-plus PFF pass-blocking grades in all three of his years at Texas. He also earned a 90.5 PFF grade in 2020.”

  59. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I CARE NOW: Donovan Smith has proven his worth in the second half of 2020, IMHO. I would like him to restructure/add another year to his contract to have “mo money” on the 2021 cap.

    Who the Bucs might get to do this, please and thank you:

    Tom Brady
    Mike Evans
    Cam Brate
    OJ Howard
    D Smith
    Ali Marpet
    Ryan Jensen
    Will Gholston

  60. Bucanero Says:

    Yeah! Keep everyone, sign odell and jj watt and draft lb, de, cb, ol

  61. tvan101 Says:

    We will franchise Shaq, he is not going anywhere.

  62. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Many here have questioned the memory of some commenters on this thread, as if we have forgotten that we haven’t had a real QB killer since Bennett left. I don’t think that we’ve forgotten. I question YOUR even shorter-term memory.

    The Bucs pass-rush disappeared the last month of THIS regular season. Had you all forgotten? It wasn’t there in the Washington game, either, however Heineke proved very elusive. As others have stated, it returned when VV returned! Also, wasn’t GB missing a starting OT? We know the KC O-line was greatly diminished, also.

    I am grateful for Shaq and his play down the stretch but, he, or anyone, would benefit greatly from the performance of these interior linemen. I also believe someone will back-up the proverbial Brinks truck for him. He just may be too rich for us in both cap space & potential lost talent.

  63. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Buc1987 Says:
    February 15th, 2021 at 4:57 pm
    Joe in Michigan….Brady doesn’t need 5 weapons at WR that’s what makes Godwin expendable imo.

    Do you realize that Chris Godwin was ranked the 29th best player in all of the NFL before the 2020 season? He’s obviously one of the best Bucs players, giving up your best players is never a good idea, ask the Houston Texans.

  64. David Says:

    Absolutely must sign Shaq & LVD!

  65. cmurda Says:

    VITA VEA makes Shaq the guy you saw in the playoffs. Godwin and LVD come before Shaq. Breaking the bank this year is still going to be a pay cut for Shaq.

  66. cmurda Says:

    @Defense Rules. You gotta love the “sign all our guys and get Watt and then trade up for and draft Trevor Lawrence” comments. Reality is nothing like that. The only way to sign most of our costlier free agents is going to require a lot of back-loaded contracts. Usually these contracts are pretty player friendly though. They will cause cap problems about 3 years down the road for the team. Some think that risk is worth it. I disagree. Like you said, I don’t envy Licht’s job right now. I would like to add that Licht deserves a lot of props for his work in the draft especially the last 3 years and hitting on the free agents. Dude should have won GM of the year.

  67. View from 132 Says:

    Tough call. He lit up in playoffs but was not the 2019 version. Would not surprise me to see the Bucs go a cheaper route.