When the Buccaneers signed Shaq back in March to his 1 year, prove-it deal, no one in their right minds expected that this man would be tied for first in the franchise record book with 16.5 sacks.
It’s almost certain that Barrett will break Sapp’s franchise record, and has an opportunity to chase down the NFL single-season sack record, but the true question is “Will Shaq return”? In this writer’s humble opinion, I believe he returns next season under the franchise tag. Now, before you go crazy and start calling for my head, ask yourself, “What if this is a one-time thing?”
Barrett hasn’t had more than 5.5 sacks in a full season, and it would be absurd to believe this type of QB terror could keep the same pace next season. Shaq has expressed interest in wanting to return to Tampa, and at this point, I see him in a Bucs uniform for the future. But, is he worth paying $18 million a year if his production could fall like so many other players had previously? If Shaq were to return on a long-term deal next season, I’d expect the Bucs to spend roughly $8-12 million a year for him.
Barrett certainly does have fellow free-agent signee Ndamukong Suh and second-year player Vita Vea for taking on brick walls in order for him to go on his tear.