Denver Broncos should consider bringing back former Super Bowl champion in 2024

Would this reunion make sense?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

On Tuesday, news broke that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be releasing Shaq Barrett, leaving the former Denver Bronco a free agent. Could this be a low cost move that the Broncos make? Barrett was once a Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos, carving out a nice role for himself as a primarily third-down pass rusher.

He was undrafted back in 2015 and appeared in every game for the Broncos in the regular season and playoffs. In total, Barrett had 5.5 sacks and 53 total tackles during that rookie campaign. He played four years for the Broncos before signing a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And in 2019, Barrett made a name for himself, as he led the league with 19.5 sacks while also adding 58 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and a whopping 37 QB hits. That earned him a long-term deal with the team, and while Barrett never replicated his insane 2019 season, he had 25.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, and 53 QB hits across the 2020-2023 seasons with the team.

And now, the former Bronco will be a free agent. Is there a possibility that Shaq Barrett could return to the team that took a chance on him? Well, Barrett got his big payday, two Pro Bowl nods, and a Super Bowl with the Bucs, so he really did accomplish just about everything a player realistically can in the NFL. Perhaps Barrett does have a desire to return to Colorado, as he did play his college football at Colorado State.

Barrett had 4.5 sacks and nine QB hits in 652 defensive snaps for the Bucs during the 2023 NFL regular season, so while he clearly is not what he once was, he may still offer some situational pass-rush ability. The Broncos pass rush room at the moment is filled with a bunch of young guys who'd play best in those situational scenarios. Adding a strong veteran presence like Barrett for cheap makes sense, and perhaps capping off that unit with a top free agent addition or top EDGE in the 2024 NFL Draft would also be a good idea.

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What if the Denver Broncos came away with a top EDGE prospect like Jared Verse in the 2024 NFL Draft, and also signed Shaq Barrett? Their pass rush room would look like: Jared Verse, Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper, Nik Bonitto, and Shaq Barrett. To me, that feels significantly stronger than what it was last year.