Shaq Barrett: Trying to get a little more money wasn’t worth leaving Bucs

USA TODAY Sports

Shaq Barrett was about to become one of the top free-agent edge rushers in March.

Then Barrett signed a four-year, $72 million deal to stick with the Buccaneers just after the negotiating window opened — becoming one of the first to help keep the vast majority of the Super Bowl LV champions together for 2021.

Barrett led the league with 9.5 sacks in 2019, his first year with the Buccaneers. He then played on the franchise tag in 2020, recording 8.0 sacks in the regular season plus 4.0 and eight QB hits in the postseason.

So while he had a chance to hit the open market again (the Bucs placed this year’s franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin), Barrett said in an interview with NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Tuesday that he didn’t want to mess around with what he’s found with Tampa Bay.

“It might’ve been true [that I was offered more money elsewhere], but I didn’t listen to anybody else. I didn’t hear no other offers,” Barrett said. “I wanted to make it work down here in Tampa. We’ve got something special going down here, man. And I don’t want to let greed be the reason why I don’t take advantage of this opportunity down here. We’re starting to love Tampa. We love the fan support. And I’m just ready to keep building.

“I love my coaches. I love the organization — 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.”

With all 22 starters back plus key reserves, the Buccaneers have as good a chance as any team in recent memory to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships. And in a depressed free-agent market, Barrett got decent money with an average annual salary of $17 million.

9 responses to “Shaq Barrett: Trying to get a little more money wasn’t worth leaving Bucs

  1. At age 28 he probably has one more year as a top pass rusher than will fade back into the fold. He is a good player but not an all time great.

  2. Guys are willing to take less when they are winning. That and when they have a head coach who puts the good of the team ahead of his own ego

  3. When you’re already a multi-millionaire, and financially set for life, at some point quality of life becomes a priority. Ans as long as Tom Brady is around, the Bucs have a really good shot at another super bowl. It’s tough to win back-to-back because it’s hard to keep everyone healthy two straight years, but as long as #12 is healthy, you’re a legit title contender.

  4. Winning and leaders are two things which are contagious. Having a 20 year pro who just happens to be a hall of famer and the best at what he does gets “all the ducks in a row.” Having Tom Brady doesn’t guarantee you another Lombardy but all the smart ones know that it’s a pretty good chance and come h3ll or high water, they’re going all in and giving 110% because TB12 is always front and center, first one to come and last one to leave.

  5. Why risk happiness? It isn’t just the Bucs winning that kept all 22 starters around.. its the culture that has been built. In just over 1 year its incredible that TB & BA were able to create such a culture.

  6. It’s disappointing that more players don’t have this mindset.
    Was understandable in the past when the salaries weren’t as large, but with the onset of guaranteed money and enormous contracts that all but ensure generational wealth for your family, it makes less sense today.

  7. There’s no income tax there so why move for more money that will be taxed in other states? He’s happy and content. More people are moving to Florida because they can keep more of their money.

  8. Though I’m not a Tampa or Tom Brady fan, I’m hoping the Bucs put together a perfect season with Brady winning a retirement SuperBowl ring as icing on the cake.

    I’m basing this hope on the winning mindset of so many of the veterans who took less money to play another year with Brady. Most of these vets are starters, and this year, for them, it’s about being a part of what — if successful — will become NFL legacy, NFL history, and NFL greatness that won’t ever be repeated again.

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