The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense deserved a lot of praise in their Super Bowl winning season.
Outside linebacker and accomplished pass rusher Shaquil Barrett was part of that unit that gave opposing offenses difficult days at the office.
Barrett played under the franchise tag in 2020 for $15.8 million.
He is one of many free agents the Super Bowl Champs have to decide upon.
At 28 years of age, Barrett has won two Super Bowls.
He played with the Denver Broncos during the 2015 season when they defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Barrett has accomplished a lot at a young age so offers from NFL teams should be plentiful for him.
The three most likely teams that Barrett will suit up for in 2021 are as follows:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Obviously, Barrett would like to stay put.
Following the Super Bowl victory, he called in to The Jim Rome Show and talked about his familiarity with the team and staff, something he relishes.
Leaving the reigning Super Bowl Champions when there is a viable opportunity to stay put and win back-to-back titles would be foolish.
Tampa Bay does have a pool of free agents to deal with, but Barrett should be a higher priority.
Barrett led the league with 77 pressures and had 8 sacks.
Coach Bruce Arians addressed the list of free agents (including Barrett) the Bucs have with firm hopes to keep the band together as much as possible.
Bruce Arians on Bucs' free agents: "It's usually the money … if it's close, I think our guys really want to stay. They know they have something special. I don't think any of them want to leave. I don't get involved in the dollars. I just let them know we want them back."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 18, 2021
2. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have so many holes to fill.
First priority will be an offensive line to protect Joe Burrow so he can stay healthy and start to thrive.
There should be money left over so snagging a free agent of Barrett’s caliber would be within the realm of possibilities.
This would not be Barrett’s first time being in close proximity to a deal with the Bengals.
Barrett expected to become a Bengal in 2019 before the deal fell apart, and the Bucs ended up signing him.
During Super Bowl 55 Media Day, Barrett talked about what made the deal go sour with the Bengals.
“They said I had something with my shoulder or something that—I don’t have anything with my shoulder. That’s when they pulled off, which had me pretty upset because I was putting all my eggs into that basket. I thought Cincinnati would have been the right move for me and they offered me [a] two-year contract and then my agent was sure he could get me up a little bit more than what they offered, so it would have been the most money I’d ever made with the most security. And that’s all I wanted was security and stability for my family. It was a gut shot once they pulled the contract offer, but I didn’t hear from anybody else about anything from the teams I visited about any shoulder injury because I never had a shoulder injury.”
3. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins had a good defense in 2020, but they certainly could make a leap forward if they had a dominant pass rusher.
Shaquil Barrett fits that bill perfectly.
The 2019 NFL leader in sacks with 19.5 would be a huge asset to the Dolphins and keep Barrett headquartered in the Sunshine State.