“It Might Have Been True,” Says Shaq Barrett

July 13th, 2021

Shaq Barrett addresses a rumor

Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett is a man with singular focus.

Perhaps Shaq was being courted in March with a contract for $20 million per season from another team. But the way Shaq talked about it today, he told his agent, oily Drew Rosenhaus, to not even tell him about any non-Tampa offers being dangled.

Appearing on Good Morning Football on NFL Network, retired receiver and co-host Nate Burleson asked Shaq about rumors he had a chance to make many more millions in free agency this year from a team not named Tampa Bay.

Shaq had an eye-opening response.

“It might have been true, but I didn’t listen to anybody else. I didn’t hear no other offers. I wanted to make it work here down in Tampa,” Shaq replied. “Like we got something good and special going and I don’t want to let greed be the reason why I don’t take advantage of this opportunity down here.”

The net result was Shaq scoring a four-year, $72 million deal from the Bucs, with about $35 million guaranteed. Might another team have been banging the table at $50 million guaranteed as part of, say, a $90 million deal over four years? That very much would have been a market-value contract for an elite pass rusher under 30 years old.

It sure would be impressive if Shaq turned down that kind of cash.

Shaq went on to say he’s in love with everything Bucs — coaches, players, the fans, the city, etc. “Everything is like a match made in heaven down here, man, and I won’t let trying to get a little more money change that,” he said.

31 Responses to ““It Might Have Been True,” Says Shaq Barrett”

  1. Youngbucs Says:

    Without Brady here shaq would have been gone LVD also.

  2. Mort Says:

    Mad respect. Dude has his priorities right and potentially put his money where his mouth is. Besides, state income tax would’ve eaten away a chunk of whatever else he might’ve earned on paper anyway. But hey, can’t argue with the man. Glad he stayed and hope for a bright future with him.

  3. cmurda Says:

    Mad love for Shaq. Not every man thinks that way and I also respect these young men getting their biggest payday. With that said, there’s something special and commendable about a man that could have scored a bigger deal but knows the best situation and that he’s going to be just fine with cash anyway.

  4. Java’sFriendlyGhost Says:


  5. Beeej Says:

    I believe Shaq has a wife and kids, and doesn’t want to uproot them

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    We are so blessed.

    It all started with JPP coming and GMC leaving.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    When JPP leaves, hopefully Tryon will be able to fill his shoes. It would be nice to have Shaq and Tryon continue the tradition of two great edge rushers.

  8. Hodad Says:

    How much is enough, and can less be more? In this case it seems a little less was more to Shaq. Can you put a price on being happy? Chris Godwin will have to answer that question soon.

  9. AL121976 Says:

    Nicely put teacherman

  10. ClodHopper Says:

    Its been a long time since I’ve liked a player on a personal level as much as I do Shaq. Great player and a great person.

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Love Shaq.

  12. Mike Says:

    Smart man and he definitely made the right decision! it’s about legacy now, get it done Mr. Shaq Attack!

  13. BradyBucs Says:

    I love Shaq, BUT…

    Not to be a ‘Negative Nancy’ but his sack production dropped way off after his monster year of 2019. In 2020, he had 8 sacks which ranked him tied for 21st in the NFL.

    Shaq certainly shined in the playoffs & SB, but there were some long stretches of games during the regular season when he didn’t do much.

    A lot of his 2020 season was a big question mark when compared to his breakout year of 2019. It’s nearly impossible to repeat anywhere near a 19.5 sack season, but when your sack number drop by over 60% the following season, that’s a pretty big difference.

    I think he Bucs had some leverage in the contract talks with the salary cap being lower but also with his numbers being down a bit.

    Even with all that being said, especially with the lower salary cap numbers which affected deals across the league, Shaq still become the #2 highest paid linebacker in the NFL (his position) and only $500K/year away from being the #1 highest paid linebacker in the league at $17.5M/year.

    As a pass rusher, Shaq ranks as the #10 highest salary in the NFL. The only pass rushers getting paid more than $1M/year more than he gets are Bosa, Garrett, Mack, Lawrence, Miller, and Clark — that’s a pretty elite group of pass rushers which much more proven consistent sack production than Shaq has.

    Again… I *LOVE* Shaq and so happy the Bucs were able to keep him. He seems like a great guy and definitely has an awesome motor and gets the other guys on the team playing their best.

    But when looking deep at the numbers, and considering what the league salary cap was at the time, his deal seems very very fair and not as if he took a major pay cut or something to stay with the Bucs. Could he have gotten a little bit more from another team? Possibly.

    You can bet Rosenhaus did his best to get the most money for him, though, and ultimately didn’t end up very far from that number with all things considered.

  14. Bobby M. Says:

    Agree with comment above….several key pieces would have likely taken the money elsewhere if we didn’t have Brady. JPP, Suh, Shaq, possibly LVD….some of these vets may be eyeballing the HOF, another ring and defensive stats helps the resume.

  15. SlyPirate Says:


    I’m a fan of Shaq’s but not because he’s so gracious.

    Shaq DID NOT GIVE UP ANY MONEY staying in Florida.

    Say NYG offered $90M as opposed to Tampa’s $72M. To determine which contract is worth more you have to factor in taxes and cost of living.

    State – Income Tax – Cost of Living Index
    FL – 0% – 98
    NY – 9% – 139

    In NY, $90M is $82 after tax. That $82M is equal to $47M in Florida when you take the cost of living into consideration.

    Net Contract:
    $72M in Florida > $47M in New York

    It’s not how much you make but how much you keep.

  16. bradybucs Says:


    Thats not how state income taxes work for pro athletes. They pay state income taxes on where games are played. So while half may be home games in FL the others often incur additional income tax.

    The cost of living isnt proportionate at millions in income. A $15M house is still a $15M house. The higher cost of groceries, utilities, etc are a few grand.

  17. BucEmUp Says:

    Love hearing this. Money on that level is a huge thing, but selling out and walking away from something special? He made a choice he wont regret downt he road

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    I think Shaqs sacks dropped off partly due to being shifted to the left side and facing more double teams. Would like to see him alternate sides frequently to disrupt blocking schemes by opposing teams. Same for JPP.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The State income tax is applied to where the player plays the game and somewhat where he practices…..so it’s not always the zero tax in Florida that is applied…..
    Nevertheless, I believe Shaq really wanted to be a part of this team……

    In life…there’s three things most important.

    Do what you like doing…..The Bucs
    Do it where you like doing it…..Tampa
    A good Mattress……(hopefully not in Mike Williams’ front yard)

  20. BuucccNASTY he p Says:

    Might have to go buy a Shaq jersey after hearing this. The selflessness on this team is exemplary

  21. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Thanks for running the numbers SlyPirate. Very revealing information.

  22. JonathanE Says:

    I went to Colorado State, where Shaq played
    in college. He grew into his role and as a senior, was voted MVP of the conference (which has lots of talent). He also dominated a bowl game. Not a sniff in the draft. Walks into the Broncos. Spends several years fighting to stay on a practice squad. He’s the poster child for tenacity. And $70 Million is more than enough to do anything and everything you want in life. Kudos to him for knowing when to stop and be happy. Bezos and others don’t.

  23. John Says:

    Hodad is rite!! I and you would have a tough decision to make. We know how hard money is to be made. This is very commendable. Anyone smart with 35 million for sure made will be fine, but 50 million is a little easier. Dont know if I could turn down 50 million

  24. John Says:

    Dam sly. YOU ARE RITE

  25. John Says:


  26. Buczilla Says:

    Shaq had to also be weighing the possibility of a new team not knowing how to use him as well as Bowles and possibly not seeing all of the money in a bigger contract. Plus, if not for his great performance in the playoffs last year, 18 million would have been vastly overpaying for the 8 sacks that he had in the regular season. Win\win for both sides, but he’s gotta get more sacks or make more game changing plays in the regular season.

  27. Aceofaerospace Says:

    I was ridiculed when I said some millionaires would take a few less millions to play for a contender. I rest my case.

  28. Slugglife Says:

    8 sacks does not sum up the season of Mr. Barrett.

    Pressures, hits, tackles for loss, passing lane disruptions- all of these factors are in play as well. Double teams opened doors for DW, LVD, and AW2. Also influenced some throws that ended up interceptions.

    Sacks as an individual stat are fine, but it isn’t the only stat that made this season a success for Mr. Barrett. Chasing a QB down for a third and long throwaway is just as good as a sack.

  29. Infomeplease Says:

    SHAQ Is a REAL WINNER!!!! Go BUCS!!!

  30. Eddie Marz Says:

    He’s going to make a LOT more money staying in Tampa, if they keep winning Super Bowls!

  31. CM Says:

    So glad to have a man on our team like you Shaq Barrett you sir are an ultimate role model. Used all your past experiences and learned what you needed to do to get where you are today. Wish other athletes would follow your example!!!