To say that Tampa Bay outside linebacker Shaq Barrett has performed well throughout his first four games with the Bucs would be a gross understatement. Barrett has in fact played tremendous football in his first year in red and pewter.
The sixth-year edge rusher’s production so far this season has not only endeared him to Bucs fans, but it’s also placed his name firmly in early conversations for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Following his three-sack performance against the Carolina Panthers in Tampa Bay’s 20-14 win in Week 2, Barrett was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He followed that showing up with a career-high four sacks and two forced fumbles in Week 3 against the New York Giants, and likely would have won the award again if not for a 32-31 defeat.
Barrett, who signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Bucs in the offseason, continued his QB capture streak in a 55-40 win in Los Angeles on Sunday, and added his first career interception before coming up with a clutch strip-sack that would seal Tampa Bay’s victory over the Rams, as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh scooped and scored in the game’s final minutes. That play helped the Bucs improve to 2-2 on the year.
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