Shaq Barrett nearly signed with NY Jets if not for this ludicrous reason

Shaq Barrett didn't sign with the Jets for this wild reason
Shaq Barrett
Shaq Barrett / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The NY Jets have been eyeing the free-agent edge rusher market this offseason, and it seems as though Jadeveon Clowney hasn't been their only target. You can add longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett to that list.

Barrett ultimately signed a one-year contract worth up to $9 million with the Miami Dolphins, but not before the Jets made a serious run at signing him. According to Barrett, the Jets were the favorites until the last possible moment.

Barrett told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio on Friday that he was all set to sign with the Jets before the Dolphins swooped in last minute to steal him away from their division rival.

When asked why he chose the Dolphins over the Jets, Barrett cited the usual "no state taxes" logic, but he also dropped an interesting note about how he feels the Dolphins compare to the Jets.

Barrett insisted that the Dolphins are a "more established" and "more proven" team than their AFC East foes. That's a direct shot at the Jets and how he feels about the organization.

Shaq Barrett took a shot at the NY Jets after signing with the Dolphins

What likely happened is that the Dolphins came in and offered Barrett more or a similar amount of money and that, combined with Florida's lack of state taxes, is why he chose to join Miami. But no player ever insists that money was the deciding factor.

That's why Barrett took this approach, taking a shot at the Jets in the process. Although, it's fair to question what exactly an organization like the Dolphins — an organization that hasn't won a playoff game since the year 2000 — has proven.

The Jets won seven games with a combination of Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle, and Trevor Siemian at quarterback behind one of the most injury-riddled offensive lines in NFL history.

They not only return Aaron Rodgers in 2024, but the four-time MVP and future Hall of Famer will be joined by a revamped offensive line, an improved skill group, and one of the best defenses in the NFL. That sure sounds like an established team.

Barrett has only mustered a combined 7.5 sacks over the last two seasons, although his efficiency numbers remain high. He's still a good player, and it's notable the Jets are targeting some high-profile edge rushers in free agency.

The Jets already brought in the aforementioned Clowney for a visit this week. It's clear the team is exploring options to replace Bryce Huff who left to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to Barrett, the Jets were this close to signing him this offseason. Instead, he'll go to play for the Jets' "more established" division rivals while Gang Green will continue their search for Huff's replacement.