Buccaneers Pro Bowl linebacker positioned to cash in

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett didn't have a lot on his wish list when he signed with the Bucs as a free agent.

First, he wanted to help the Bucs to the playoffs and, individually, double-digit sacks would be nice. But did he even think about the Pro Bowl?

"It wasn't something I was thinking about," Barrett told FOX 13 Sports. "The only thing I wanted to do was get sacks. If I was a guy that double-digit sacks, that's all I cared about."

The Bucs went 12 straight years without anyone reaching double-digit sacks until Jason Pierre-Paul ended the drought last season. Now the Bucs have a back-to-back double-digit sack specialist.

Shaq was fastest to reach that mark. He did it in just seven games. Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles knew Shaq had untapped potential.

The Bucs are facing a dilemma in the offseason. Almost the entire defensive line will be free agents. Bruce Arians has said Barrett isn't going anywhere. So how can they keep the rest of the band together?

“I think that’s something, when Jason [Licht] gets up here, you guys can have a great conversation,"
smiled Bowles.

“It’ll be tough, but everybody, the front office people have got to know what they got and don’t want to lose them,” Barrett said. “We’ve got to know we don’t have to chase the largest amount of money if we want to work with this group we’ve got together. If you do want to chase the money, then chase the money. It’s just about, I like winning, and I don’t like messing up a good thing for no reason. So if it’s a good thing going let’s keep it going.”

If Shaq is open to staying and Bruce Arians says Shaq isn't going anywhere, maybe there's deal being worked on. Barrett, however, says "no."

It seems as if the talk to retain their newest defensive Pro Bowler needs to start soon.