Forgotten in the shuffle
With most, if not all the attention in early organized practices and mini-camp going to the standout rookie class, and Winston’s progress. Many fans may have forgotten or filed away an important signing that took place before the draft. It was probably the biggest Free Agent Signing the Bucs made in a year that the Salary Cap severely handcuffed their ability to make a splash. Most of their pick-ups had been to just add depth. Guys that won’t see the field too often, if at all, except in injury situations.
Piecing the team together
A couple of the pickups though, were of more importance, meaning the player will more likely than not, see action possibly every week during the regular season. Players that can come in and play to spell the starters, but still be a force. Players that will push the guys ahead of them for starts. Players that if things go right could become the starter. There’s really only One guy that fits that mold from Free Agency this year.
Best Free Agent period signing
That player is another guy that came here because of Todd Bowles, and Bruce Arians. That player is Outside Linebacker, Shaq Barrett. A player that is just now coming into his primal years, and surely has his best football ahead of him. Signed by the Broncos as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2014. He spent the entire first year on the practice squad. During the next 4 years, Barrett played in all but 3 games, and compiled 14 sacks, 35 quarterback hits and 100 tackles.
Barrett said that Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht and Head Coach Bruce Arians were very direct with him as to what players they had in each position and did not promise him a starting spot. What they did promise is that the best man would win the job.- per Scott Smith, Senior Writer/Editor Buccaneers.com
“I love the 3-4,” said Barrett. “I’ve been in 3-4 pretty much my whole career, except one year in college. I’ve been comfortable with it for a long time. Then just having the pass rushers who can also play the run game and who can also cover on the edge, set the edge of the defense – it just gives us so much more that we can do on the inside with blitzes and with safeties coming down and everything. I just love the scheme a lot.” – per Scott Smith, Senior Writer/Editor Buccaneers.com
So it Appears that Barrett will be given the chance to show what he’s got, and possibly make a bigger name for himself in 2019, and earn a long term deal with the Bucs in 2020. He signed what is called by many, the “prove it” signing. A one year, 5 million dollar deal. Show what you got, “prove it” and get resigned the following year to a longer term more beefy deal. He’s very long on potential and could end up being one of the best signings/picks of 2019. Certainly, he could be the gem of the Free Agent signing period. More and more this Defense get’s better, gets stronger, gets more fierce, and more of an imposing force. Heck, haven’t even had training camp yet, and things are looking way up for our Bucs. Barrett is just another piece of the puzzle that is going to turn this thing around folks. Go Bucs!