Buccaneers Release Shaq Barrett, This One Hurts


I understand why the Buccaneers are doing this, but it makes me sad. Many people, including me, saw this move coming after the down season Shaq Barrett had and his fairly high age. By designating him a post-6/1 release, his dead cap will be spread over two years rather than just one. He will have a cap hit of over $9 million in 2024 and over $17 million in 2025. However, it gives the Bucs about $5 million in cap space this year.

Like I said, many saw this coming due to a lackluster campaign in 2023. He had 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and one pick-six. Outside the pick six, just not great numbers for an outside linebacker. His lack of production was part of the reason why the Bucs blitzed so much. Their edge rushers just couldn’t get the job done. This also isn’t just about Shaq’s age. He had an Achilles tear in 2022, so the fact that he came back at all is quite the accomplishment, even if he was clearly limited.

Any article talking about Shaq leaving would be remiss to leave out what he had done for the Bucs. His 19.5 sack season in 2019 when they signed him for $4 million is the record for most sacks by any Buccaneer. He ends his time in Tampa with 45 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions. But not only that, he was part of the culture shift that the Bucs were going through. Him and Jason-Pierre Paul helped shape the locker room culture for Tampa. I haven’t met the guy personally, but based upon everything that has been said and I have seen in interviews, he is one of the classiest, nicest guys on the field. Though the Bucs were smart in making this cut, they will be losing an amazing human being, which is never easy to do.

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