What are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers getting in free agent signing Shaquil Barrett, formerly a reserve of the Denver Broncos?
The Denver Broncos are officially saying goodbye to Shaquil Barrett, a player who has grown from undrafted free agent to fan favorite in his time with the team.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barrett is getting a one-year, $5 million deal from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I have apparently been over-valuing Barrett for years. I figured when this day inevitably came, Barrett would undoubtedly be an $8-10 million per year type of player on a multi-year contract. If you had told me prior to free agency he would sign a one-year deal worth $5 million, I would have laughed at you.
This is a bargain basement price for a starting caliber player the Buccaneers just got.
It’s extremely unfortunate for the Broncos to lose him, but the writing was on the wall as Barrett wanted to find a situation where he could potentially start.
Now he lands in Tampa Bay, where they will be implementing a 3-4 defense under Todd Bowles, who has had a ton of success in the NFL as a defensive coordinator.
Barrett was an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of Colorado State, where he was the conference defensive player of the year as a senior in college. His collegiate career initially began at Nebraska-Omaha, which decided to scrap their football program altogether.
Barrett was forced to find a new school and that turned out to be a great situation for him. He was a star with the Rams, and it was a travesty he wasn’t selected among 250-plus players in the 2014 draft class.
I felt like that year, he was more talented on tape than anything I saw from all but two Broncos picks that year — Bradley Roby and Cody Latimer.
Barrett’s pass rush skills have not yet manifested into an outstanding individual season statistically, but he has been a critical role player in his years with the Broncos.
One of the most underrated aspects of Barrett’s game is how stellar he is on special teams, and he’s proven that with a number of blocked kicks over the past few seasons.
Barrett is a better run defender than he is edge bender, but he’s very strong at the point of attack and can bull rush his way to the quarterback as well as beat offensive tackles with quickness off the snap.
It will be interesting to see how he fares with a higher volume of snaps, but Barrett is a smart player who is always in good position in the trenches. He’s not a guy you want dropping into coverage all the time but he is capable in that regard when need be.
Barrett will certainly be missed by Denver as the team’s primary backup edge for the past four years. He has developed extremely well and should continue to have a long career in the NFL.