This season has definitely been something special for Tampa Bay’s new Sack Master. 58 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 1 INT, and 6 forced fumbles later, Barrett definitely set the bar high for himself.
Fast forward to the present, and Barrett was 4th in the DPOY honors won by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. TJ Watt was also in the mix to be named the winner of the award. Without taking anything away from the play of Gilmore, but in my opinion, he isn’t the type of corner that you would call a “shutdown” or “premier” corner. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good, but he’s not Charles Woodson or Deion Sanders great, he’s just a good corner that had an extraordinary year.
As for T.J. Watt, I can’t really act surprised that a Watt is in the talks for the top defensive player of the year award. It is shocking, though, that there’s no mention of J.J. Watt, but injuries have dampened his season, so his brother just carried the Watt name this season. He has definitely come into his own with Pittsburgh and will be a force to be reckoned with just as James Harrison was for the black-and-yellow for years.
Barrett has definitely set the NFL on fire this season with his play and went what seemed like sack for sack with Arizona Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones for a good chunk of the season. Barrett, who signed a one-year deal, did more than just show up and show out. When he spoke with Salty Dogs Podcast during camp back in July, Barrett spoke of signing due to the opportunity to start and make plays, and well, he bet big and won big, in my opinion. Not many players can come into a franchise, with a new defensive scheme for all 11 players, and end the season setting a new sack record after 20 years. Barrett (again, my opinion), has been snubbed for the Defensive Player of the Year for the fact that he signed to a smaller marketed team. Had he stayed in Denver and compiled these types of stats, he would’ve easily been atop of the rankings, and we wouldn’t be having this type of argument.