Shaq Barrett has developed into one of the league’s top edge rushers and was a key piece in the Buccaneers Super Bowl championship season.
But even after earning a ring and signing a four-year, $72 million deal to stick with Tampa Bay this offseason, Barrett is as motivated as ever.
“I just want to have the best season possible that y’all have ever seen from a defensive end/outside linebacker. Like, I’m coming with a vengeance this year,” Barrett said during his Thursday press conference. “Even though we won the Super Bowl, I’m still hungry. I want to show my supporters that they’re right for supporting me and show the doubters that they’re wrong for doubting me.
“So I mean, I’m coming. I want to be, individually, Defensive Player of the Year. If they want to give me MVP because my season should be MVP-level — like I’m coming, man. I won’t be denied at all this year. And I’m so excited to just have this time off so when we get back I’m gonna be ready to go. This year’s going to be real big for me.”
Barrett spent his first four seasons as a rotational player in Denver before breaking out in a big way once he got to the Buccaneers. He led the league with 19.5 sacks in 2019, his first year with the club.
While he recorded 8.0 sacks in the 2020 regular season, he had 4.0 in the postseason — with 3.0 in the NFC Championship Game and another in the Super Bowl. He also recorded eight QB hits and three tackles for loss over those last two games.