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Shaq Barrett: There’s nowhere else I’d rather be

Super Bowl LV

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 07: Shaquil Barrett #58 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett is now a two-time Super Bowl champion.

He’s also a pending free agent.

Barrett led the league with 19.5 sacks in 2019. While he had only 8.0 during the 2020 regular season, he looked like a sack champion in Sunday’s 31-9 win over Kansas City. He was consistently in the backfield to pressure Patrick Mahomes, finishing with a sack and four quarterback hits.

But he played the 2020 season under the franchise tag, which means he’s slated to hit the open market in March.

In the euphoric afterglow of Super Bowl LV, Barrett may have undercut a bit of his agent’s leverage by clearly stating his wish to stay with Tampa Bay.

“I know [there] ain’t no other place I’d rather be. So I’m pretty sure my agent will get talking to them, they’re gonna talk, and we’ll find a quick solution to this,” Barrett said. “I know I’ve found a home here. They gave me a shot. I earned a starting spot here. They gave me the freedom to play the way I wanted to play. And it’s just been working out. It’s been a perfect match since Day 1.

“I love it here and I want to just keep proving them right.”

Barrett did have a strong postseason, recording 4.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits in four games.