The play of outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was instrumental in the Bucs’ 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Barrett finished with one sack and a game-high four quarterback hurries of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who passed for just 270 yards and no touchdowns, while being intercepted twice by Tampa Bay’s swarming defense.

“I think our performance speaks for itself,” Barrett said. “Hey, we got to be at the top somewhere. The Chiefs got a high-powered offense. The way we came out there and played tonight – offensively, defensively, special teams – we all did what we had to do to get the win. No touchdowns were unheard of for the Chiefs offense. If you told anyone they won’t score a touchdown in any game this year, if you would’ve bet on that you would’ve made so much money. Nobody would’ve thought the Chiefs would’ve never scored a touchdown in a Super Bowl game.”

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Barrett was given the franchise tag by the Bucs this offseason after recording a league-high 19.5 sacks in his initial year in Tampa Bay in 2019, a year in which he made his first Pro Bowl. So he’s slated to hit free agency on March 17 unless he strikes a deal with the Bucs or Tampa Bay decides to use the franchise tag on him again.

After recording eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 2020, finishing third on the team in sacks behind Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul’s 9.5 and Devin White’s nine, Barrett notched three sacks in Tampa Bay’s 31-26 win at Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. When asked after the Bucs’ Super Bowl win if he wants to re-sign with Tampa Bay or explore free agency, Barrett wasn’t coy with his answer.

“I know there isn’t another place I’d rather be,” Barrett said. “I’m pretty sure my agent is going to talk to them. We’re going to talk and we’re going to find a quick solution to this because I know I found a home here. They gave me a shot. I earned a starting spot here. They gave me the freedom to play how I want to play. It’s been a perfect match since day one. The fans showed love since day one. Everyone showed all the love since day one, like I was already proven when I got here. I love it here and I just want to keep proving them right.”

Barrett made $15.828 million in base salary due to the franchise tag in 2020 and will be seeking an average per year of $15 million or higher on a multi-year contract extension this offseason. After the game, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians insisted he wasn’t going to retire and stated his desire for general manager Jason Licht to re-sign as many of the team’s pending free agents as possible to make another Super Bowl run in 2021.

“Hell no, I ain’t going anywhere,” Arians said. “I’m coming back, trying to get two and then we’ll see after that. But no, this football team – I love these guys and we have a great staff, great team. Hopefully Jason and I can get together and keep most of them and try to repeat.

“I think the biggest thing is keeping our guys. You know, do what we can, make sure that we keep our guys here and hit a home run in free agency – just with our guys. Maybe an outside guy. Just keep our guys, and then Jason will hit another home run in the draft and we’ll continue to build this football team. And you know we don’t have many weak spots if we get the guys back that we want back and need back. We’ll just be adding great athletes in the draft.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Subscribe
Notify of
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

Have a feeling that guys will renegotiate their contracts to make things happen. And too think, the saints believe they did something special by reducing brees’ cap hit. Let winston be their starter. Please.

Mike Pengelly
Mike Pengelly
1 year ago

The cap is going to make it hard to keep the boys all together again but it has to help that they now know they are winners…Brady made them believe and now they do!!!

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Mike Pengelly
1 year ago

Yes. And remember the Brady effect is real. Just as last year there were players that waned to come to play with Brady, I imagine there might be a veteran free agent or two or three that might want to finish off their careers in Tampa Bay. We have Brady, the sun and beaches, low income taxes and r the reigning SuperBowl Champs. Bucs r a desired destination for many NFL Players!

chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  bucballer
1 year ago

I agree. I think a few players will restructure to bring more people back. The only questions I really have is if AB and playoff Lenny will be back. Although this being AB’s first super bowl he might wanna come back because Brady gave him help

Kramerica Industries
Kramerica Industries
Reply to  chefboho
1 year ago

To think that most people would’ve probably been glad to see Fournette leave during the regular season, and the odds are now that he won’t be back in 2021 because he priced himself out of Tampa…

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  Kramerica Industries
1 year ago

I’m gonna rock the boat a little here and say that Fournette, while he made some plays for us in the playoffs and the SB, goes down way too easily when he’s hit. The first tackler almost always brings him down. Rojo bounces off the first tackler, or gives him the jelly leg and he slips off, or he hurdles him like Edwin Moses down the sidelines.

Fournette will likely chase the money, and I can’t blame him. He’ll have earned it. But we could do better and save money too, IMO.

BucRy
BucRy
1 year ago

It’s going to be a tough offseason, before the playoffs we talked about if the Bucs would keep Smith on his huge cap hit next year..now with the way he played throughout the playoffs, I’m not so sure that’s going to happen now.

TBChucky
TBChucky
1 year ago

Great group of guys that enjoy playing with each other. I think the only wildcards are Fournette and AB. But I also would not be surprised if they wanted to come back either.

^^mtn^^
^^mtn^^
Reply to  TBChucky
1 year ago

Agree. Someone probably won’t be here next season, maybe someone like Howard.

Dude
Dude
1 year ago

I wonder if a team can still designate a player as a “Player-Coach” and give the player two contracts? As in, if they could restructure Brady’s contract designating him as a Player-Coach, giving him the base salary as a player then making up the difference with a coaching contract? I’m not sure how creative teams can get today, since there is no salary cap for coaches, it would open up a lot of room under the cap. I imagine Brady does quite a bit of coaching himself while he is on the field and in practice. I read where BA,… Read more »

twspin
twspin
1 year ago

It would be nice to see the whole gang come back. But Y’all know this will not happen. It never does after a team wins a superbowl. Teams will pay guys who have won the big game. We shall see.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  twspin
1 year ago

Buc have already demonstrated that they are not like most team. So its the front office’s turn to make a first, to keep the entire team intact for another run to the big run next year. Get the negotiating started, how about it, front office…