It Will Be A ‘Surprise’ If Shaquil Barrett Doesn’t Return To Tampa Bay

Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.


A busy news week is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean the cycle is stopping any time soon.

There have been several positive updates regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thanks to a flurry of moves in free agency. The futures of players like Chris Godwin and Lavonte David (and four more Bucs) are now known, but there are still questions concerning the others.

Shaquil Barrett’s name is at the top of the list. There have been updates regarding him and the Buccaneers this week, however, said updates remain open-ended. So, speculation is still king when it comes to Barrett’s future.

We all know the old saying about opinions, but some opinions matter way more than others. Like the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, for instance.

Rapoport went on the Rich Eisen Show Thursday evening to talk all things NFL and was asked about the Buccaneers and Barrett. He offered up his opinion on the subject and it’s safe to say that his answer will make Bucs fans happy.

“Why would he want to leave? I’d never want to leave…
To me, I’d be surprised if Shaq Barrett ends up leaving the Bucs. That would be a pretty surprising free agent development, I would say.”

Barrett’s career has taken off since he arrived in Tampa Bay. He led the league in pressures last year and is second in total sacks since 2019. A big pay day is warranted and expected. Based off Rapoport’s comment, it sounds like the Bucs may get the best of both worlds.

Eisen then segued into Tom Brady’s potential extension. Rapoport echoed reports from earlier in the week saying, “I think that’s something that has been in the works the last couple of days” and that it “probably ends up a one-year extension”.

Per Over The Cap, the Buccaneers are more than $5 million over the cap and it could even be more. Lavonte David and his $3.5 million cap hit don’t appear to be accounted for on the website. The Bucs may actually be a little more than $9 million over the cap if that turns out to be the case.

The Athletic’s Greg Auman reported Friday that the NFLPA has updated Tampa Bay’s cap status to include David’s cap hit. According to the NFLPA, the Bucs are $6.4 million over the cap. The discrepancy between the two sites is unknown due to the NFLPA’s reluctance to release individual contract numbers.

This is important because Tampa Bay -and the rest of the NFL- has to be under the $182.5 million salary cap by March 17, the start of the new league year. So, the Bucs have about five days to figure out their final moves.

You can check out the full interview below: