Shaq Barrett recognizes that 2023 may have been his last season with the Buccaneers.
Despite a strong playoff run, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season came to an end in the Divisional Round against the Detroit Lions. Shaq Barrett may have worn a Buccaneers jersey for the last time.
Barrett is under contract for the 2024 season. However, with a salary charge of roughly $14 million, the outstanding outside linebacker recognizes he may not return to Tampa Bay. While he has considered playing elsewhere, Barrett hopes to stay with the Buccaneers, according to Kristie Ackert of The Tampa Bay Times.
“I’ve been around for a minute, and I know with my contract and production, and they have some young guys that factor into it,” Barrett said of a possible departure. “But I’d still love to be here. My kids adore life down here; it’s like a second home.”
“I understand it’s a business, but after everything that happened this year, we’re family now to appreciate them for everything they did,” Barrett said. “Just for rocking with me and sticking with me through everything, and while I hope not, I know it’s a possibility. “I hope not.”
Tampa Bay has a potential out to Barrett’s contract heading into the offseason. He is due a $14.5 million option bonus. Furthermore, his 2025 deal automatically voids 23 days before the 2025 season. If Barrett is to remain with the Bucs, there likely needs some cap maneuvering to be done.
While Barrett understands it’s a business, he has personal ties to Tampa Bay. The team rallied around him and supported him after losing his daughter to a tragic drowning accident. Barrett doesn’t want to lose that support system.
But he is trying to remain realistic. As much as he wants to stay in Tampa Bay, Shaq Barrett knows the Buccaneers want to put them best team they can on the field. With Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield set to hit free agency, Tampa Bay has plenty of decisions to make.