Empty The Wallet

March 3rd, 2021

Backup plan?

Only a fool would suggest in a passing league the most important position on defense is not a pass rusher.

There is a reason these guys go high in the draft. There is a reason these guys make so much coin. A pass rusher can take over a game no matter how p!ss poor a secondary is.

That’s why, in the mind of Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic, Bucs free agent Shaq Barrett, if he gets out on the open market on March 17, could pocket some $20 million a year.

[Shaq] was dominant during the Bucs’ Super Bowl run with four sacks and eight quarterback hits in Tampa’s last two games. Barrett was a monster in 2019 (19.5 sacks, 37 QB hits and six forced fumbles), and the Bucs used the franchise tag to retain him. His regular-season numbers (eight sacks, 16 QB hits) weren’t as impressive in 2020, but he made his mark in the playoffs. Barrett will likely be looking to cash in on a deal that could be in the neighborhood of $20 million per year.

Kapadia listed pass rushers broken down into tiers. Shaq is in the first tier, “Empty Out the Wallet.”

What do the Bucs do if they somehow lose Shaq? Does Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht then go after a lesser pass rusher as a free agent? He almost has to, doesn’t he?

Interesting to Joe is there’s a guy out there who is also a free agent (he hasn’t been tagged yet) and he has ties to Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians. And his team just signed J.J. Watt to pair with Chandler Jones. That would be Haason Reddick.

The Temple (ahem) product was the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Arians’ final draft in Arizona. In three of his first four seasons, Reddick was largely a stiff at pass rushing. Bad enough that the Cardinals didn’t pick up his fifth-year option.

This past season, Reddick blew up with 12.5 sacks in a contract year (which smells out loud). His previous high was four sacks.

Reddick likely would be cheaper than Shaq, as Shaq has a much bigger and better body of work. And could Arians’ knowledge of Reddick be a factor that Arians may think the Bucs might get a younger edge rusher with a higher upside than Shaq? Or might Arians dislike what he saw of Reddick first-hand?

Hey, who doesn’t love Shaq? But he wants to get paid and he has an agent (oily Drew Rosenhaus) quite skilled at making his clients filthy rich. Always remember, the NFL is a business.

Joe is not advocating this move at all. Reddick’s connection to Arians just makes Joe wonder if he is a dark horse candidate to replace Shaq if Rosenhaus isn’t willing to be flexible.

44 Responses to “Empty The Wallet”

  1. Gofortheface30 Says:

    There is absolutely no better fit for this defense than the guy that Shaq was a backup to and if healthy is a little more dynamic/athletic. May not even need to trade for him

  2. gotbbucs Says:

    I liked Reddick a lot coming out of college. I don’t think you could play him the same way that they played Barrett, but that’s what you have Todd Bowles for.
    I have confidence that they could find a way to mold the scheme around a different players skill set.

  3. Duemig from HELL Says:

    I will roll over in my grave if Bucs sign that guy

  4. adam from ny Says:

    yeah don’t touch this guy…

    if i’m correct, like half his sacks came in one game…

    he had like a 6 sack game…

    otherwise nothing special…

    remember a couple years back adrian clayborn has like an 8 sack season, but like 5 came in one game…same type of thing – sorta

  5. Mikadeemas Says:

    And didn’t that guy have four or five of his sacks in one game!? GO World Champion BUCS!!

  6. Mikadeemas Says:

    Adam, I knew it was a bunch, but SIX!? Yeah, hard pass!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Tag & trade Shaq if you have to……at least get something for him…..the same would go for Godwin.

    Whoever signs the long-term deal first…..tag & trade the other player.

  8. Beeej Says:

    I don’t think we can pay anybody besides Brady 20 million a year

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Uh, last time I checked the more sacks you have, the better. So Reddick had 5 sacks vs. the Giants, but if even if you don’t count those, he still had more sacks than Barrett, 8.5 to 8. If you’re discrediting multiple sack games, how many did Shaq have in the last 2 years?

  10. ncbucsfan Says:

    Reddick was being used improperly for almost 3 years. Steve Wilks took over and ran a Cover 2 base, moved the guy to an off-ball linebacker position where he had NEVER played. He has talent and in my opinion would be a good option if Shaq leaves. Shaq’s best season was 4 sacks also before he came here! We just going to act like he didn’t come in and barely beat Noah for his spot anyways. It wasn’t like it was obvious by the eyeball test. He just produced loke crazy in Bowles blitzing scheme which brings a tremendous amount of pressure up the middle, which oftentimes flushes the pocket laterally , which favors OLBs sack production. Reddick is a dog as a pass-rusher and he would definitely save us some coin to perhaps keep Lavonte and Godwin. We wouldn’t fall apart if we lose Shaq and that’s what Joe and a great deal here seem to imply! If we give Shaq anywhere near $20M and lose Godwin or Lavonte because of it, it will be a dumb move, period!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Too small for my liking (Reddick is supposedly 6’1″ & 235 lbs … Heck both LVD & White are that big). In his first 3 yrs with the Cards, he had a TOTAL of 7.5 sacks & 16 QB Hits. And he played in 16 games each of those seasons, with a decent number of snaps. THEN he blows up to 12.5 sacks & 16 QB Hits in 2020?

    Why? Contract year led to more motivation? Nah, I don’t buy it; you either have talent or you don’t. Was he used differently in 2020? Yes, somewhat it appears. And yes, included in there was one MONSTER GAME last year (5 sacks & 6 QB Hits, plus 3 FF) against the Giants. But also after the first 6 games of 2020, he got an insane amount of time on the field (over 95% of the defensive snaps). He was either doing something right, or the Cards were flat out of OLBs?

    The bigger question in my mind is ‘Should the Bucs pay $20 mil a year for Shaq?” As much as I want him back, $20 mil a year is simply not doable, and certainly not this year. Paying Shaq THAT much would mean not re-signing several quality depth players, then if either Shaq or JPP went down we’d be totally screwed.

    On the good news side though, I have trouble seeing ANY NFL team paying $20 mil for Shaq’s services. Almost 2/3rds of the NFL teams are in WORSE shape salary-Cap-wise than we are. And almost all of those who have a few extra shekels to spend have it for a reason (hint: only 2 teams in the Top-10 in terms of salary CAP space made the playoffs last year … Colts & Dolphins; the rest have a LOT of other NEEDS). Personally I think that a 4-yr contract (2 yrs guaranteed) for $60-$65 mil total is the max that Shaq should get. Beyond that, start looking at alternatives.

  12. ncbucsfan Says:

    And for those saying it was a fluke 5 sack game, well, it was against the Giants and Daniel Jones primarily, who torched us! Shaq didn’t have 5 sacks against them! Hell, I don’t think he had more than 1. Reddick was whipping someone that Shaq wasn’t!

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    adam from ny Says:
    “…remember a couple years back adrian clayborn has like an 8 sack season, but like 5 came in one game…same type of thing”

    Didn’t Clayborn go on to have better years elsewhere? At least for a couple years? I seem to recall him making news after he left. Honest question.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “Tag & trade Shaq if you have to……at least get something for him…..the same would go for Godwin.

    Whoever signs the long-term deal first…..tag & trade the other player.”

    You can only tag one player.

  15. Christos Says:

    I m not saying that we should sign Reddick and i think it will be better if we can keep Shaq but just to be fair Reddick didnt play outside LB/pass rusher his first 3 years he was more of an ILB and for that he did not have many sacks. And yes from the 12.5 sacks this year 5 was from 1 game vs the Giants.
    Hope we can keep the team together, Go bucs.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    NFL Trade Rumors has 18 edge rushers in their top 100.

  17. geno711 Says:

    Tag and trade might work; but not clear in my mind it will work for sure. The other side has to both believe they have good value in the player for 1 year and it is highly likely that that player will stay with them in the future.

    So if the Buc’s do not tag and trade then maybe it was not a real possibility.

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Shaq Barrett is the 3rd edge rusher on their list, Haason Reddick is 10th.

  19. geno711 Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says:
    March 3rd, 2021 at 9:02 am
    NFL Trade Rumors has 18 edge rushers in their top 100.

    They also have Antonio Brown, Jameis Winston and TE Jonnu Smith rated above edge rushers 4-18. So are those Edge Rushers really anywhere close to Shaq.

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Geno711: Yes, they also have Jadeveon Clowney rated way too high, IMHO. I thought Reddick had 13.5 sacks, but he had 12.5…My point was that there are edge rushers out there. I’d rather have Shaq back, though.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I was incorrect in my math, thinking Reddick had 13.5 sacks. I like other options more than Reddick, anyway. Shaq is my first choice.

  22. PassingThru Says:

    Lots of legit questions regarding Haasan Reddick. If you look into his pass rush production, he had a great season preceded by being a non-factor on defense.

    He was a football player without a true position. He was drafted as an undersized, athletic LB who could attack, provide coverage and still plug holes against the run. The problem was that he played ILB in college though he’s really more of an OLB. Arizona had to play him inside though due to need, and he looked like a classic first round bust.

    He played more OLB this season, and his numbers shot up. You have to be careful with those numbers though. First, it was a contract year. Second, 5 of those 12.5 sacks were in one game against the NYG. That’s a total red flag.

    Keep Shaq, and if you cannot, either go in another direction. Someone is going to badly overpay Reddick, and I hope it ain’t us.

  23. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    5 of those came in one game, against the lowly Giants.

    QB pressures: Shaq had 42 last year (51 in 2019); Reddick had 34.

    So hardly an equivalent replacement.

  24. Robert Says:

    I say let Shaq and CG walk……..someone else said it as well. we keep 85% of the team and can find people to step in. Shaq played to get paid, just as this guy did…no difference. CG wants too much….well not really, some team needs him more is a better description. We can find another Shaq cheaper.

  25. Joe Says:

    We can find another Shaq cheaper.

    No they can’t, otherwise they would have before they stumbled over Shaq. The Bucs have proven they can’t. Shaq was an accident and the Bucs have publicly stated as much.

    Good luck (to any team) finding a top-five pass rusher walking the street.


    The edge rusher theory was proven during GB and KC games, made the secondary look better. If he goes need to find a replacement at least close to his ability. Shaq & JPP have great synergy which makes for a nasty pass rush.

  27. geno711 Says:

    We lucked into Shaq, we lucked into Suh, then we lucked into Brady.
    All of that was part of what allowed us to win a Super Bowl.

    Now there are lots of ways to win a Super Bowl. But that defense front won a heck of a lot more than they lost game in and game out. I want to keep both Suh and Shaq and do not think you easily replace either guy. I think we would be lucky to get close to that much value out of a replacement player.

  28. David Says:

    If they can get Shaq on a four year deal with 15-16 mill a year… Do it.
    19 to 20 somewhere else like Cleveland, where the state tax is 8%, is equal to a little over 17-18.

  29. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Another website has 11 edge rushers in the top 50:

    1) Yannick Ngakoue
    17) Shaq Barrett
    19) Bud Dupree (injury concerns)
    20) JJ Watt (signed with AZ)
    21) Trey Hendrickson
    28) Jadeveon Clowney
    29) Kyle Van Noy
    30) Carl Lawson
    39) Haason Reddick
    41) Leonard Floyd
    46) Matthew Judon

    To say there’s no other option than Shaq for the Bucs would be inaccurate.

  30. TOM Says:

    There is no way I would pay Shaq anywhere near 20mil. I would possibly go 14 or 15 for 3 or 4 yrs. Same with CG. There are other FR edge rushers out there already they could get for less and are equal to Shaq. Also losing CG would not hurt the receiving corp very much, especially if they resign AB. Also they have Johnson & Miller.

  31. Godlovesbucs Says:

    How much does shaq get is the big question. JJ just got 15.5 per year. If he gets that, what is Shaq worth? Due to age, health and recent productikn, my guess is right around the 20 mil per year mark, even in this market. So if we can find a way to get him for 17-18 that is definately worth it. IMO, he is #1 priority, just ahead of Godwin, then LVD. After those 3, you have the 2nd tier guys of succop, Suh, Gronk, AB, Fournette in that order.

  32. Ben green Says:

    Don’t pay Shaq, pass rushers can be nullified. Go look at every game JJ watt played against the Patriots. Just pay him a little extra attention and he folds. Could be a back chipping, an extra tight end over him, or crack him sideways with a fullback. I know d ends make bank, but corner and linebacker to me are much more valuable. If andy reid was half the coach y’all think he is, he could’ve negated a lot of the pressure mahomes faced. Pass rush can also be schemed up with blitz and loops. Sacks are the most overrated stat in the game

  33. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Joe Says:

    March 3rd, 2021 at 10:16 am

    No they can’t, otherwise they would have before they stumbled over Shaq. The Bucs have proven they can’t. Shaq was an accident and the Bucs have publicly stated as much.
    Joe: The Bucs “found” JPP for a 3 Round pick. Doesn’t that count for anything?

  34. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Ben- there is a huge difference between manufactured pressure (blitzes and stunts) and straight 4 man pressure. Yes, manufactured pressure can be nullified to a point. Hot reads, well timed runs, screens will bite a blitz or a stunt. But when you have the ability to bring 4 guys on straight rushes and get consistent pressure, that makes it hell for an offense. You may be able to chip 1 and double another, but if the pressure is there, it makes life miserable for them. That pressure also allows linebackers to run free to the ball and corners to not have to cover for as long.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    *3rd Round

  36. SOEbuc Says:

    Need to let Donnie’s fat a$$ walk. PFF #35 OT 2019 and 2020. 5 sacks and 7 QB hits 2020. T-1st most OT penalties. T-7th for most sacks allowed. Guy is a joke and the blind ones want to retain his gigantic contract (restructure or not) because he’s had a few hits and miss games (more misses than hits). We need that money to keep Jensen on the oline. Licht, Brady, and Arians could go out and find a MUCH better starting LT for cheaper looking at how dominant the oline was this year. “Hey man you wanna come start at LT for us?”-Tom. “You had me at hello.”-future LT.

  37. SlyPirate Says:

    We already have Shaq’s replacement …

    Cam Gil

    Get to know him. Carbon copy of Shaq (height, weight, size, speed, college career). He knows the system and can produce. Sacked PM in the SB. Looked so good JPP demanded he come out of the game. His accolades in college (albeit a small division) are bananas. Guys a baller.

  38. atlBucs Says:

    I like Shaq but, I think his success is ted to the greatness of our defensive line. With Vea having to be double-teamed and JPP on the other side, Shaq gets one-on-ones frequently. He was pretty normal when Vea was out. Also, the development of our DB’s caused QB’s to hold onto the ball a little longer. I think its more beneficial to the team to bring David Fournette and AB back than Shaq alone. Especially if we can sign Von Miller for less.

  39. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    von miller will be available at a cheaper price and may want to join the fun down in Tampa

  40. Darin Says:

    Lol. Man Joe’s got a boney for Shaq. I almost want him to walk now just so Joey can see the Bucs can win it all without him. We’ll see who values who more. If he wants to lose games and get 7 sacks a yr elsewhere, adios. Some of us will look for solutions not cheese for the

  41. Joe Says:

    If he wants to lose games and get 7 sacks a yr elsewhere, adios.

    Don’t be dumb. A defense is dead in the water without a pass rush. It’s the most important position on the defense. Guys who built Super Bowl-winning teams who are in the Hall of Fame even say this.

    The Bucs may not have beaten the Packers without Shaq. Not sure why people think a pass rush in a passing league is such a trivial issue.

  42. Jeremy Says:

    VON MILLER… forget Shaq. Put dat on a cracker dude!!!

  43. atlBucs Says:

    I know that the pass rush is important but I also realize that part of the reason our DE’s were not effective was that we had an inferior defensive interior line. Geraldini and company never required consistent double-teams like Vea and Suh. I don’t think we should ignore the position but I do think we should not mortgage the farm and lose a lot of supporting cast to pay him 20M. But, fortunately, the guys at 1 Buc have developed some personnel evaluation skills and I trust them to do the right thing.
    Anyway, teams are going to have to score 35 points to beat us. I think that will be a factor, too.

  44. BuccoDav Says:

    Joe, please clarify for me.

    But… If the pass rusher is so important then why, in a year that Shaq had 19 sacks did our secondary suck and our defense wasn’t very good. Then, in a year that Shaq had 8 sacks and our secondary was better, our defense played championship ball?
    I agree with you that a pass rusher is very important but it seems so is the rest of the pass defense.