DETROIT — In the first quarter Sunday, Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett rushed around the right edge and sacked Lions quarterback David Blough.
A piece of history tumbled with him.
It was Barrett’s 16.5 sack on the season, tying thee franchise mark held by Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp since 2000.
Barrett had never had more than four sacks in a season during his five years with the Denver Broncos before signing a one-year, $4-million contract with the Bucs as a free agent.
It was money well-spent.
Barrett had nine sacks in his first four games this season and set his aim on the club record.
“I love the way this man has been hunting the quarterback,” Sapp said recently of Barrett. “I told him I hope he gets my 16.5. I hope he breaks it. He deserves it. I love Shaq Barrett.”
An undrafted free agent from Colorado State who spent five seasons with the Broncos playing behind and being mentored by elite pass rushers Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Bradley Chubb. But that meant he started only 15 games and had only 14 sacks in his five-season career before joining the Bucs.
“To be etched in, not stone, but as close as you could get until somebody beats the record, I would love to have that,” Barrett said recently.“And I know there’s a lot of greats that have it right now, and to even tie it would be amazing.
“I’m working to get it. I want to be up there by myself. It’s a huge accomplishment for me, and I did not think about it at all when I came into the season. But I’m in a position where I can think about it now.”