Shaq Barrett’s comment on Tom Brady’s Instagram post hints that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ‘keeping the band together.’
One month ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. With the team hoping to run it back, they had themselves an important offseason in terms of retaining players. So far, the Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin and gave linebacker Lavonte David a two-year contract. That leaves Shaquil Barrett as the lone big-name free agent the Bucs need to keep.
On Friday, quarterback Tom Brady and Tampa Bay agreed to terms on a contract extension to free up further cap space. Shortly afterwards Brady posted a photo on Instagram of him signing the new contract, with a caption reading “keeping the band together.” Barrett opened up some eyes by replying to said post with a “yessir.”
Buccaneers: Can Tampa Bay retain Shaq Barrett to ‘keep the band together?”
That seems like a good sign about the Buccaneers’ chances of re-signing Barrett, right?
After five years in the NFL, Barrett broke onto the scene in 2019 when he tallied a ridiculous 19.5 sacks in 16 regular-season games. Additionally, Barrett recorded 58 total tackles, 37 quarterback hits and six forced fumbles. With Barrett set to hit free agency last year, the Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on the linebacker worth a total of $15.8 million.
Barrett may not have replicated his 2019 numbers, but he still put up a more than respectable campaign. Through 15 games, Barrett tallied 57 combined tackles, 16 quarterback hits, eight sacks, three passes defended and two forced fumbles. Barrett played a huge role in the Buccaneers reaching their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years after he tallied three sacks in their 31-26 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
The expectation has been that Barrett and the Buccaneers would agree to terms on a long-term contract extension. Buccaneers fans have to feel pretty confident about that happening after reading Barrett’s comment on Brady’s social media post. If general manager Jason Licht can pull this off, the Buccaneers will be the winners of the 2021 offseason.