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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs WR Godwin and DE Barrett named second team All Pro

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The accolades continue to pour in for two prominent Buccaneers, as on Friday WR Chris Godwin and  DE Shaq Barrett were rewarded again for outstanding 2019 seasons.

Both Godwin and Barrett were named members of the AP second team All-Pro:

Godwin, the third-year player out of Penn State had a monsterous season where he caught 86 passes for just over 1,300 yards, which were both top three in the NFL through 15 weeks. And, he joined teammate Mike Evans for the first time two Bucs had gone over 1,000 yards receiving in the same campaign. Godwin was named to his first ever Pro Bowl, along with Evans, last month.

Unfortunately, Godwin’s season ended in week 15 with a pulled hamstring in Detroit, and he could not play in the Buccaneers final two losses to the Texans and the Falcons. Still, as he gets set to head into a contract year, Godwin appears ready to cash in and be one of the top paid receivers in the NFL.

Similarly, it was a huge year for Barrett, as he finished with three sacks in Sunday’s finale with the Falcons to break the single-season all-time Buccaneer record held by Warren Sapp. Barrett finished with 19.5 sacks and also led the National Football League in that category.

Barrett began the year with huge four sack game in week 2 at Carolina and became the first Buccaneer ever with eight sacks in the first three games of a season. He entered Sunday needing only half a sack to break Sapps 16.5 sack record and got the hat trick on the Falcons Matt Ryan to do it.

And, like Godwin, Barrett stands to cash in with much more. He came to Tampa Bay on just a one-year contract, and as a free agent to be stands to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million or more next season and beyond.

The Buccaneers have tough decisions to make with Barrett., as well as defensive lineman with Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh, all of whom are unrestricted free agents come this March.

The All Pro designations are for the top four players by position group in the entire NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs DE Barrett basked in first Pro Bowl appearance Wednesday

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Off the best pass-rushing season in Buccaneers history, potential free-agent defensive end Shaq Barrett was soaking things in Wednesday in Orlando.

That’s where the NFC and AFC top players have congregated for the 2020 Pro Bowl coming Sunday.

Barrett, who set the Buccaneers single-season sack record with 19.5 this past season, ended up being the lone Buccaneer able to play in the game. This, after receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have both had to bow out due to hamstring injuries.

Barrett got props on day one from one from Cardinals DE Chandler Jones, whom he battled for the sack title all the way down to the final Sunday of the season:

Barrett then got to hangout and sign autographs with the fans assembled at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The sixth year player out of Colorado State, who was originally undrafted but signed with the Broncos in 2014, then told the media, he’s looking for a big-money free-agent deal. And, further, his preference is that he stays in Tampa Bay.

After all, Barrett surpassed anyone’s expectation in 2019, while playing for a modest one-year free agent deal and betting on himself to cash-in. And now, after his agent Drew Rosenhaus and Bucs GM Jason Licht are done, it appears he will be making in the neighborhood of $18-20 million per year just like the top pass rushers in the NFL.

The Bucs also have the possibility of putting the franchise tag for 2020 on Barrett which would also be valued around that same amount for just the one season.

One final cool moment came Wednesday, where Barrett got introduced to a young Buccaneers fan who’s enduring tremendous family hardship with one parent battling cancer and another suffering from the debilitating ALS disease. After signing an autograph for the young man, Barrett gave him the surprise of his young life with two tickets to next weekend’s Super Bowl in Miami:

And just like that fantastic reward, Barrett will soon be similarly rewarded for his fantastic year and upcoming potential. And most likely, it will be in Tampa Bay for a long time.

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Bucs Evans got respect from LeBron James Saturday night

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The new present day cliche’ for respect among athletes/opponents in sports is: “Game Recognizes Game.” And, there was a neat example of that Saturday night, as the Houston Rockets of the NBA hosted the L.A. Lakers. That’s when iconic NBA star LeBron James of the Lakers came over to acknowledge Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in the seats behind him.

As you probably know, James is arguably the most recognizable and successful NBA hoops player worldwide in the last 10+ years. He’s a 15 time All Star, a four time MVP, and helped the Miami Heat win two World Championships. And, then came back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who originally drafted him out of high school, and led them to the city’s epic first professional title in any sport in over 50 years back in 2016.

And, LeBron has the Lakers rolling at 34-8 with another win in Houston last night.

As for Evans, he is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest offensive weapon and was having a tremendous 2019 season statistically until it was cut short with a hamstring injury in the Bucs early December win over the Indianapolis Colts.

That’s when Evans suffered a severe hamstring injury on a 61 yard touchdown catch from Jameis Winston and did not play another down in 2019. Still, he joined teammate Chris Godwin, as they both went over 1,000 yards for the season, which was the first time in Tampa Bay history that that happened.

Evans is also only the second player in league history, besides Randy Moss, to have 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season in his first six years in the NFL.

Further, it’s also well-known that Evan is a huge fan of the NBA and he’s originally from Galveston, Texas and play in college at Texas A&M. So, it’s only fitting that he would be courtside during the off-season and the Rockets game against the Lakers.

Evans has made mention earlier in his career that he had met and talked to LeBron James on previous occasions. One reason that Evans brought that up during the season, was his touchdown celebration dance when Tampa Bay outgunned the L.A. Rams in late September.

In that 48 – 40 win Evans caught this clinching fourth-quarter bomb touchdown from Winston and then, celebrated with LeBron James’s signature dance move

James has previously and frequently used that on the court after a big moment, a big win or a championship.

Again “Game recognizes Game,” and clearly James wanted to give some recognition to the Bucs star whiteout Saturday night courtside at his own game.

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