Recently re-signed Shaquil Barrett hopes the remaining boatload of Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agents will remember one thing.
“You all can feel it,” Barrett said in Wednesday’s press conference per Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith. “You all know when you’re in a good spot. You don’t want to let that go for anything. We’ve got something special going for sure.”
The Bucs won Super Bowl LV in February after an 11-5 season. Tampa looks poised to retain many of their key players to make another run for the Lombardi Trophy.
Barrett wants another boat parade.
“It’s just so much fun to be able to celebrate with fans like that,” Barrett said per Smith. “We’ve got all the makings to do it again.”
Barrett signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Bucs on Monday per ESPN’s Jenna Laine. Tampa also had wide receiver Chris Godwin, linebacker Chris Godwin, and tight end Rob Gronkowski under contract going into the new league year instead of walking in free agency. Plus, the Bucs extended quarterback Tom Brady’s contract last week.
A significant number of Bucs free agents remain to be signed as of Wednesday afternoon, however. That list includes running back Leonard Fournette, wide receiver Antonio Brown, defensive end Ndamukong Suh, and kicker Ryan Succoop.
Barrett noted in the press conference that repeating in the NFL poses lots of challenges and keeping most of the players together is rare. He played for the Denver Broncos in 2015 when they won the Super Bowl but stumbled to 9-7 the following season after the retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning.
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Barrett Always Wanted to Stay
Barrett made it clear that he didn’t have other destinations in mind for free agency.
“I was always focused on being back here,” Barrett said per Smith. “It was the only place I wanted to be.”
Barrett said he hopes the momentum on management keeping its word on keeping the team together will help the other free agents stay for another run per Pewter Report.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get it done,” Barrett said per the Athletic’s Greg Auman.
Barrett added that family was a big reason for staying per Pewter Report. He didn’t want to move them around more. His career began in Denver before coming to Tampa in 2019.
Barrett also has plans in mind with the new contract.
“I want to be known in the community for helping out anyone who needs help,” Barrett said per Smith. “On the field, I want to be known as one of the best at my position.”
Barrett Gives Shout Out to Management
Barrett, who played on the franchise tag in 2020, credited Bucs general manager Jason Licht for being “transparent throughout the whole negotiation process and from the beginning, they wanted to get a long-term deal done” per Buccaneers.com’s Carmen Vitali.
Licht, who also spoke on Wednesday, clearly indicated the high priority of re-signing Barrett.
“Shaq has made a profound and immediate impact on our defense from the day he stepped into the building two years ago,” Licht said per WTSP’s Grace Remington.
“From leading the league in sacks in 2019 to leaving his mark during our postseason run to Super Bowl LV, Shaq’s contributions have been vital to our success as a team, and we look forward to continuing that success in the years ahead,” Licht added per Remington.