The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are having themselves a party today. Amid the championship parade, a lot of promises for 2021’s Super Bowl defense season are being made, including by star pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, who was among the most important players for Bruce Arians‘ team in the postseason.
After a relatively quiet Wild Card and Divisional Round against Washington Football Team and the New Orleans Saints, Barrett exploded in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. He sacked Aaron Rodgers three times in the Bucs’ 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers, and then took down the elusive Patrick Mahomes once against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The 28-year old Barrett has been a bona fide star for the Bucs since coming over from the Denver Broncos ahead of the 2019 season. He had a massive 19.5 sack year in 2019, and added another eight this fall.
After his huge 2019, he played under the franchise tag this fall, making over $15.8 million on the season. He’s an unrestricted free agent once again this offseason, but in the heat of the party today, he made his wishes known: he wants to remain a Buccaneer.
— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiWTSP) February 10, 2021
Tampa Bay would obviously love to hang on to him, but there will be plenty of situations to figure out this offseason. Lavonte David, who just wrapped up a five-year, $50 million deal with the team, also expressed his desire to return. “Your ass ain’t going nowhere,” Bruce Arians exclaimed to him during today’s parade.
Among the other unrestricted free agents-to-be for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason: Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, and Chris Godwin. There is plenty of business to handle, and probably a few tough decisions to make, before the title defense starts up next season.
Shaquil Barrett has to be near the top of the list for Jason Licht and the front office though. He and Jason Pierre-Paul‘s unbelievable pass rush was a major reason that the Buccaneers were able to reach the Super Bowl at all, and that Todd Bowles’ defense was able to do what it did on Sunday.