Jason Licht Details Conversation With Shaq Barrett Informing Him He Would Be Released

February 27th, 2024

Unpleasant task.

Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett technically is still a member of the team. His bio is on Buccaneers.com and his name is still listed on the roster.

But in reality, at least for now, Shaq is an ex-Buccaneer.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, while speaking to the Tampa Bay pen and mic club today at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, detailed one of the most painful phone calls he’s had to make as the Tampa Bay shotcaller.

Licht had to tell Shaq that he was no longer on the team.

Shaq can’t technically be released until the start of the league year, which is also the start of free agency on March 13. (Legal tampering begins two days prior on March 11.)

Apparently, Licht was so shook up by the call, he said Shaq actually had to tell Licht everything was OK.

“Calling him, letting him know on Friday — I did not want to make that call,” Licht said. “At the same time I wanted to give him some time for another team [to sign him] if that’s what he wants to do. We can’t release him until the beginning of the [league] year.

“He actually calmed me down on the call. He was… how much the [Bucs] organization meant to him, what we’ve done for him. When it really should have been the other way around.”

Licht emphasized that if Shaq wants to come back to the Bucs, he will be welcome.

“[Shaq and his family] will always be Bucs and we are always going to leave the door open for Shaq to be a Buc.”

Of course, the reason Shaq is/will be a former Bucs outside linebacker is his salary. Shaq was due a $15.04 million bonus had he been on the roster in March after the new league year kicks in.

24 Responses to “Jason Licht Details Conversation With Shaq Barrett Informing Him He Would Be Released”

  1. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    He was destined to be released given that contract unless he somehow came up with another 19 sack season in 2023. We all knew this was going to happen.

  2. Rick Says:

    something doesnt add up… a simple restructure could have solved this… big picture, who is going to sign him? How many teams out there could he actually start on?

  3. Mac Says:

    It really does suck as I’m a huge fan of Shaq. But it’s a production based league. Bucs had no choice but to do what they did.

  4. TomBucsFan Says:

    Thanks for the Superbowl Shaq!

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    He just was never the same player after his injury. He’s up there in NFL age in-terms of being considered “old”…..

    …he may just want to retire now?

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Loved watching you hunt QBs Shaq!
    Hope you find a way to be a Buc again this year.

    Ive been saying it for 2 years now.
    Achilles tendons tale TWO years to heal.
    You can walk/ run after a year. But you dont get your explosion back until year 2.
    Bucs had to cut him.
    I think they’d be smart to bring him back on an affordable contract- to see if that Achilles is gonna bounce back.

  7. doolnutts Says:

    Rick – Check out Spotrac.com for cap questions but long story short it wasn’t possible to restructure Shaq. A restructure anyway just moves around the cap number and pays out through a bonus the Bucs simply did not think he was worth the money at all and rather cut him than pay him the bonus at all. I guess in theory he would of taken a pay cut but why would you do that? Hes guarantee d this money whether he played or not.

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Yeah it has to be tough on a human level, especially with the dramatic nature of his injury and the long odds of returning to the way everyone remembers his game. He will NEVER be the player he once was and that is a tough pill to swallow for everyone involved, including the fans.
    Losing is daughter to a drowning in the families home swimming pool is a lot for one man to bare.
    Prayers and love is all I can offer

  9. D-Rome Says:

    Great work today, Joe. Thank you.

    Vita Vea the only one left from that defensive line that won a Super Bowl.

  10. Dew Says:

    Bucs & Shaq need to determine street value.

  11. JimBobBuc Says:

    Shaw and Licht are two classy guys. I hope Shaq can come back to the Bucs somehow and maybe Shaq can regain some of his pre-Achilles form. It’s obvious that Licht didn’t want to make this call but he had to do it for the team.

  12. Toad Bowels Says:

    Maybe Shaq could be a player+coach

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    The Bucs have $26 million dead cap money on Shaq so I don’t thing renegotiating is a possibility. Hope for the best, but I’m sure he is pretty much set for life.

  14. JA Says:

    Some get over injuries, some don’t.
    Sadly, Shaq was in the latter. And, as some have said, it’s a production based league and Shaq was all but invisible last year. Too bad for us, and him.
    Wish him the best. Seems like a good guy.

  15. Dave Pear Says:

    This totally sucks. Hope he can still be a Buc at a small salary.

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    Injuries and father time catches up with every athlete at some point.

    I’m just grateful that Shaq spent his best seasons here in Tampa.

  17. heyjude Says:

    Wow, that breaks my heart. I can see why Licht didn’t want to make that call. It’s a hard one.

  18. All_da_way Says:

    Sad but it had to e done.

    Bucs need younger legs opposite of Diaby.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    Painful surgery that was a must. Bucs had absolutely no pass rush this past year and still won 9 games. Opposing QB’s looked so clean leaving the field after the game , you’d think they were just arriving to play. I viewed 4 games we could have easily won with a pass rush of some sort. Hope we improve next season.

  20. Ha-Ha-Ha Says:

    I think another team is going to get a bargain.
    Choose wisely Shaq.

  21. garro Says:

    I hope that all the stars align so that we can bring him back on a deal that the team can stomach financially.

    Go Bucs!

  22. Zoocomics Says:

    Shaq wasn’t all bad last season, in fact when he wasn’t on the field we couldn’t contain his side of the line. JTS filled in for him at least once for a full game and he could not keep contain.

    I think most of us will underestimate how good Shaq was when we first snagged him. Much like the old school Centers in professional basketball, some of these larger DE/OLBs tend to be clunky and not nearly as athletic as their physical appearance would tell you, one trick pony’s. That’s actually what made JPP so damn special, he had it all, size, speed, athleticism, it’s why he will be a first ballet hall of famer. Shaq on the other hand was undersized, but he had toolbox of moves at his disposal, but his size also help him in Bowles defense he could drop in coverage, had speed off the edge, he will not be easily replaceable given what Bowles will ask from his OLBs in this def.

    It would have been nice to re-restructure given we will be eating his base salary, and it will count against the CAP. Hell, where Shaq is career wise, he would have been a nice rotational piece at the right price.

  23. Bradley Brown Says:

    Shaq Barret’s legacy will be turning in a 31-9 all-time butt kicking in Superbowl LV.

  24. 727BUC Says:

    Love love love SACK Barrett!!!! ….. that being said there is absolutely NOTHING sad about them cutting him. He’s a millionaire and his family is set for life! It is a production driven league and he wasn’t producing. Period. Wish him nothing but the best in his next ventures in life. Thanks for the SB Shaq!! You da man!