Shaq Barrett Realizes His Bucs Future Is Not Secure

January 23rd, 2024

Discusses job security.

Shaq Barrett is one of Joe’s favorite players. That doesn’t mean Joe is going to go full-blown ostrich about his production this season.

Or, to be exact, non-production.

The Bucs sacks king has a really nice contract. Unfortunately, his numbers are not nice.

In his last nine games, Shaq had a half-sack, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.

Combined with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s ghost-like production, the two Bucs’ edge rushers who began the season as starters were basically nowhere to be found the past two months, except for maybe three plays (yes, JTS’s biggest career play came two weeks ago to seal the Bucs’ playoff berth with a strip-sack).

Sunday, Lions quarterback Jared Goff had enough time in the pocket to eat a Detroit-style pizza before releasing the ball. Simply put, the Bucs must have more production from their edge rushers.

That’s not a suggestion, that’s not optional. It’s difficult for Joe to envision a team making a Super Bowl with virtually no heat from an edge rusher.

(While Joe has heard through the grapevine that YaYa Diaby was playing very hurt in recent weeks, his numbers dropped after he was named a starter in late November. Perhaps teams figured out the rookie?)

The thought of the Bucs parting with Shaq makes Joe sick. After what he and his family went through last spring (Joe can’t even type it, so if you don’t know, Google is your friend), the thought of Shaq being cut in the coming weeks makes Joe ill.

But as former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter used to say, the NFL is a production business. Produce or step aside. Ruthless, but true.

And Shaq confessed yesterday at One Buc Palace he isn’t sure if he will be on the Bucs roster next fall, though he wants to be.

“It’s a possibility,” Shaq admitted about the chances he may not be around in 2024. “I’ve been around for a minute. I know with my contract, and my production, and [the Bucs] got some promising young guys, all of that can play a factor into it. I would still love to be here. It’s like a second home.

“We love it. My daughter and kids, they love it down here. I understand it’s a business. After everything that happened this year, like we’re a family now, too. I appreciate everything [the team] did. Just rocking with me, sticking with me through everything.

“I hope it is not [the end] but I know it is a real possibility. But I hope it is not.”

If the Bucs have to go out and buy a free agent (Danielle Hunter, Brian Burns) or trade for a guy, then that’s what they have to do.

If the Bucs cut Shaq, they would have to eat some $26 million in dead cap per So perhaps they can get Shaq to redo his contract where he gets a team-friendly two-year deal loaded with incentives.

If the Bucs keep Shaq, Joe’s not sure how they also keep JTS and at the same time beef up their edge rush.

31 Responses to “Shaq Barrett Realizes His Bucs Future Is Not Secure”

  1. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    biz decisiin and he is way past his prime.

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    I think from a product on the field perspective, Bucs have to have resources dedicated to the offense. Guys like Shaq, White…even David will likely have to take team friendly deals or play elsewhere. Ticket sales will absolutely collapse if Mayfield & Evans aren’t resigned. We also need an upgrade at center….offense is what won us games against winning teams, it’s what made the games fun to watch. Nobody is interested in winning games 9-0…sure a win is a win but that type of winning is why playoff tickets were readily available for our home game. It’s not entertaining enough to warrant spending $100s at RayJay.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Eat $26 million?…..I don’t think so…..perhaps we can eat $20 and trade him…..

    This is a very bad situation… have one making a ton of money and the other making almost nothing……keep them both and put them on ST.

  4. Paratrooper Buc Says:

    Shaq lost a step or two from the injury and JTS is a joke. We did poorly against Detroit because they have massive guys on OLine compared to our smaller guys on defense and we didn’t scheme for it. Sending 4 smaller guys straight at them was always going to fail.

  5. SlyPirate Says:

    In 2024, Shaq earns $14M but counts for $26M in dead cap if cut.

    Shaq is the most likely to be restructured. They’ll give him a $7 – $10 million roster bonus and push it into 2026. That’ll get you a stud vet DT, like Fletcher Cox.

  6. Buc4evr Says:

    Shaq has lost a step and never fully recovered. Not sure if we can even get a draft pick for him. White, Barrett, and JTS are not going to get this team over the hump. I’m not sold on Hall either. The entire DLine needs to be retooled. Bigger players and going back to a more legit 4-3. Hopefully the JTS experiment is over.

  7. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Thxs captain obvious

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    That’s an amazing clip Joe. JTS didn’t whiff on the play; he never even got his hands up so that he could make the tackle. Pathetic.
    And watching Dean get blasted by a huge Lions’ OLineman as a consequence probably didn’t make Jamel’s day either.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Paratrooper Buc … ‘Shaq lost a step or two from the injury and JTS is a joke.’

    Agree with you on JTS. He needs to go now IMO, unless the Bucs can find another role for him (he is physically talented, but can’t seem to make the plays when we need him to).

    You’re most likely right in that Shaq has lost a step as a result of his injury, but he’s still a very savvy veteran. I think that the bigger problem is that he NEEDS a couple of other dangerous guys up-front like Suh & JPP to keep the pressure off of him. We don’t have that right now.

    Like Buc4evr said … ‘The entire DLine needs to be retooled.’ Looks to me like we focused on stopping the run this year, but at the expense of pass rush & pass defense. Run defense is Job-1 to Todd Bowles, but apparently holding the gaps AND putting pressure on the QB was a bit too much to ask of this year’s DLine.

  10. Dlavid Says:

    Let him go…

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    SlyPirate … ‘Shaq is the most likely to be restructured. In 2024, Shaq earns $14M but counts for $26M in dead cap if cut.’

    I agree with you about Shaq. I thought at first that he’d be released because of his lack of production in 2023, but that’d be a massive CAP Hit. Worse yet, look at his CAP Hit in 2025 as a result of previous restructurings (void years). It’s either gonna be $12.3 mil or $17.4 mil it looks like, I guess depending upon timing of what the Bucs decide to do. And that’s with Shaq being a Free Agent in 2025 and never playing for us. Wow, that poor pooch is soooo screwed.

  12. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Cut the fat and go get the young hungry players.

  13. SufferingSince76 Says:

    If it comes down to being between Barrett and JTS, the decision is a no brainer.

  14. catcard202 Says:

    A post June 1 cut designation of Shaq lowers the dead money to under $10M & saves the team ~$4.9M in cap space in 2024.

    Frankly, I was more than surprised that the FO stuck with Shaq coming off his achilleas knowing guys over 30 are very likely to be a shell of their former selves – especially the 1st yr after the injury….WTS, I couldn’t believe the FO didn’t cut bait & run, in June 2023.

    2024 could be better…with some additional distance from the injury. But $14M+ in cap space is a ton of coin to bet on a 32yr old edge rusher coming off a bad season.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m totally fine with clearing non-productive cap space, even kicking a little down the road.

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    JTS at Middle Linebacker.

    Colinsworth mentioned it during the game.

    He said “I saw Joe Tryon-Shoyinka run at practice! That guy could play anywhere on the field!”

    JTS is young. Very young. He’s still pretty weak in his legs and shoulders/chest.

    JTS needs to squat is ass off this off-season. He has the speed. He lacks the power.

    He needs to add 5 KG of upper body muscle and power as well.

    JTS has potential. Even at MLB.

    Anybody else remember Urlacher?

    A 6-5 MLB? Maybe he can do it.

  17. firethecannons Says:

    omg had no idea so bad Joe says this: In his last nine games, Shaq had a half-sack, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.***** not worth keeping but if we are under contract–then attempt a trade

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    Post June 1 cut. Spread the cap hit.

  19. TexasBuc 1776 Says:


    It’s nice to fantasize, JTS is a total bust.

  20. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I can’t Evan believe that Bowles even keeps putting JTS on the field. I’m sure he is a nice guy but he is complete garbage. One of the worst Draft picks, the guy only played in 8 college games. Who ever scouted and vouched for this guy needs to be fired

  21. Andrew Says:

    JTS job is literally to get under the block (wrong arm) and spill the play to the force player….The will doesnt get outside like he should. What a terrible take.

    Lions had a nice design on the play vs our look. Lions new JTS would go under the block and they bluffed him.

  22. JimBobBuc Says:

    If we can restructure Shaq, I’d like to see him kept for another year or two. Coming off the Achilles and his family tragedy had to take a toll on him this year. He’s a smart player and a high-character guy who knows the defense.

    JTS needs to go unless we can convert him to a pass-catching TE. If he can drop the ball less than Otton, he might be worth a very short offseason test as a TE.

  23. Dirk Disco Says:

    JTS is trash on defense but he’s got the build of a monster Tight End. Can he catch and block?

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    There’s about a $5M total $ difference between cutting Shaq this year vs keeping him in 2024 and then not re-signing him in 2025 when he has $17.4M in dummy contract $ come due once his contract is finished after this year.

    The benefit of keeping him this year is he “only” counts $14.19M against the 2024 cap (vs costing $26.668M against the 2024 cap if released) – and then would be due the $17.4M next year after his contract is done….

    So do you take the $26.6M hit in dead cap $ this year all at once and tell Shaq to go away – or take a $14.1M cap hit this year and a $17.4M cap hit next year and hope that Shaq regains his abilities to help the team in 2024?

    I have a feeling they are going to want to save that $12.5M difference in cap $ this year and have Shaq’s services for 2024 – while spreading the hit over 2 years even though it costs $5M more total to do it that way.

    Tough call either way because he’s definitely not worth anywhere near those #s at this point.

    Just another example of having pushed so many tens of Millions into the future during the Brady years.

    We have a bunch of pushed forward $ coming due this year additionally in the form of cap $ still owed for players who are no longer under contract..
    Mike Evans – $12.2M
    Lavonte David – $2.7M
    Baker Mayfield – $2.3M
    Greg Gaines – $1.9M
    Winfield Jr – $1.6M
    Matt Fieler – $1.03M

    That’s $21.8M right there for 6 players who are not even under contract…

    And don’t get me started about the whole Jensen $ situation…. (Bucs basically have to pay Jensen $26M for playing badly in 1 terrible playoff game)

    If we cut Jensen at a cost of $16.6M, cut Shaq at a cost of $26.6M – plus the $21.8M in dummy extended contracts for the 6 players listed – thats $65M we don’t have access to this year for free agency and/or re-signing our own free agents… approximately 27% of our total available salary cap $ for 2024 is already used up with no players to show for it. Similar to 2023 in that respect.

  25. BucsFan81 Says:

    Damn that is a bad contract. 26 million in dead money hopefully he will restructure if not we will have to keep him and dump him next year when it won’t cost anything. One thing is for sure we need edge rushers the only one that is worth a damn is YAYA and we have Vita and Kancy in the middle. We need another edge guy or two.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    Its not a “bad” contract.

    Its an overly restructured contract.

    Bucs used Shaq’s deal to gain large chunks of cap space the last 2 years.

    Most probably don’t remember but Shaq’s contract was most recently “reworked” before the 2023 season started. Bucs gained almost $10M in cap space as a result – which was badly needed just to cover the year’s operating costs coming into the season.

    We’re paying for that now… and will continue to pay for all the can kicking for at least a couple more years…. IF we take our medicine now. Otherwise it just becomes a perpetual shell game with the #s every year and you wind up like the Saints who have been can kicking for about 7 straight years.

    New Orleans is going to be so F’ed for $ over the next couple years when they will run out of “options” to kick further and have to face all the additional repercussions of signing a middling QB to a $38M per year contract….

  27. kaimaru Says:


    We only eat 12 million. We save 5 million post June 1 cut

  28. unbelievable Says:

    Zero reason to keep JTS, and cutting him shouldn’t cost us too much.

    Shaq is a harder decision given how much dead cap space it would eat up.

    The bills are still coming due

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … I am super impressed by your explanation of our salary CAP mess. Everyone ASSUMED that 2023 would be our worst year because we had to eat Brady’s $35 mil (included in the $75 mil total we had to eat), but they never looked around the corner.

    JL paid that bill by restructuring a bunch of contracts (aka, kicking the can down the street). 2024 will be bad, but HOPEFULLY we can scrape together enough to keep Wirfs, Winfield, Evans, McLaughlin & LVD, plus re-sign Mayfield. Personally I’m not holding my breath on JL being able to do all that however.

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    Yes DR – those are the priorities.

    Hoping Baker and Evans are willing to take team friendly deals in order to make it all work….

  31. westernbuc Says:

    JTS can be a role player (he seemed better that way) and being back Shaq on a better deal. I trust Licht to figure out the pass rush