“I Don’t Play Football To Make Money”

April 26th, 2024

Rookie center Graham Barton.

NFL folks will always say one key element to finding a future NFL player is finding a guy who loves football.

It’s used so often it is a cliché. And of course, what player is going to admit he hates football?

Some guys aren’t passionate about following other teams or even watching the Super Bowl. The vast majority of NFL players will claim they love the game.

Barton, however, may prove he loves the game just by his non-football resume. It’s pretty clear Barton has major goals after his football career is over.

He majored in public policy at Duke and already interned with a sitting U.S. Senator. Those kinds of connections tend to open a whole lot of doors other than the entrance to a football locker room.

Meeting Barton, he is very polished. Barton someday holding a public office is not a stretch.

So when Barton talks about his love of football, it’s clear. He could be doing something far more meaningful and far more important that would lead to a very comfortable lifestyle without getting the hell beat out of him for the next 10 years.

With Barton, his passion for football is the proof in the pudding. It’s not just empty words.

“I don’t play football to make money,” Barton said. “That’s just a byproduct of working really hard. I play football because I love football.”

More so, Barton loved playing football at Duke. He could have easily pocketed six figures (seven figures?) playing for a football factory school.

But he stayed at Duke because he knew what a degree and education from Duke can do for him down the road. It’s why Barton chose Duke in the first place, he noted in a sidebar with reporters after his introductory press conference.

And it sure seems like that same work ethic Barton plans to bring with him to Tampa Bay. More than a handful of times last night and today, Barton interrupted himself and reminded reporters saying out loud, “I haven’t played a snap yet for the Bucs.”

It was as if Barton wanted to tone down the accolades that come with being a first-round pick. Almost like he was uncomfortable with Bucs coach Todd Bowles and Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht openly discussing how he automatically makes the Bucs a better team.

No overinflated ego with this Barton.

“I’m ready to get to work,” Barton said. “Ready to be a Buc, to earn the respect of my teammates and get to work.”

This guy is likely going to be a favorite of Bucs fans. Maybe a humble, laid back personality who plays like Ryan Jensen. Nasty on the field, thoughtful and soft-spoken off the field.

And a dude with a bright future away from the game.

19 Responses to ““I Don’t Play Football To Make Money””

  1. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Put ‘em in the dirt big dude! Barton, Luke, and Cody are going to be a handful (if Cody has beefed up). Nasty attitudes and playing through the whistle echo. Wirfs is a rock – so let’s plug the last whole with another monster. Knock ‘em back until the resign.

  2. Bucfan Says:

    Add Jackson Powers-Johnson tonight & the OL will be set for the next 10 years

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    Now draft a Rush LB( a bunch on the board), a rush DE, and a Center.
    Yup. Brton needs to be a guard. He’ll be great at either spot, but He’ll be a perrinneal all pro at Guard.
    Draft Bortelli, Limmer, or frazier.

    Or draft Guard Zack Zinter.

    And of course a LBer and DE tonight.

    Trust in Capt.Tim. Believe in him, and gain Wisdom! Lmao.

    Im very happy with our draft so far.

  4. Mark Says:

    “The of the pudding is in the eating.”

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Good….Graham, then you can give us the “I don’t play football to make money” discount on your next contract.

    I’m thinking WR, RB, Edge tonight….(not necessarily in that order)

  6. Irishmist Says:

    If he helps us win another SB, he’s got my vote for Senator.

  7. Olboy Says:

    He has my vote

  8. View from 132 Says:

    Big goals, big salary… you wonder if he’ll play more than 5 years.

  9. Kidfloflo Says:

    Capt.why would we draft another center when we just used our first rd pick on one!?

  10. OrlandoBucFAn Says:

    Great attitude and awesome perspective. Barton will be a leader in the locker room. Great addition!

  11. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Yeah this is good. He seems mature and he is a polished speaker. I hope he loves football so much that he doesn’t retire like Ali did in his prime.

  12. MadMax Says:

    money is money bleh…nice to have bleh…whats left at the end of that last dollar? Drive, determination and motivation to be the best at something…and make another dollar because someone is willing to give it to you. When youve been broke, you know how to never be broke again.

    Or go hold a sign at a road or stand outside a convenience store asking peeps for change…

  13. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Love the pick great character excellent lineman best pick since Wirfs

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    I see an OL jersey in my future.

    Time to retire #47.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Capt Tim … ‘Now draft a Rush LB( a bunch on the board), a rush DE, and a Center. Trust in Capt.Tim. Believe in him, and gain Wisdom! Lmao.’

    OK Tim, but you need to add a beastly RB if we’re gonna be competitive. Bucs only scored 8 rushing TDs last year; only the Panthers, Vikings & Jets scored fewer (7 each) than we did. We had the lowest rushing YPC (3.4) of all 32 teams. And contrary to popular misbelief, Bucs had the lowest run percentage (18.0%) on 1st down in the NFL as well as the 3rd lowest Red Zone TD percentage (44.9%). A stouter OLine will surely help, but we need a beastly RB for those short yardage situations especially.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … ‘Time to retire #47’.

    NEVER. That’d be as drastic as retiring my John Lynch & Derrick Brooks bobbleheads Cobra (only 2 that the Bucs gave out that I can recall).

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    Barton is the original Dirt Devil! I like what he brings to the O line.

  18. Marky Mark Says:

    Did he graduate from Duke?

  19. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    I was slightly down on this pick originally, but this kids attitude has flipped me 100%. I absolutely LOVE this pick.