Bucs’ Shaquil Barrett Doesn’t Get New Contract Before Deadline; Will Play on Tag

Bucs’ Shaquil Barrett Doesn’t Get New Contract Before Deadline; Will Play on Tag

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

Shaquil Barrett failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Wednesday’s deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to a multiyear contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The linebacker is among 12 players who received a franchise tag this offseason but were unable to sign a long-term deal, meaning they will play the 2020 season with that designation.

Barrett was the bright spot for an otherwise porous defense in Tampa Bay. After betting on himself in free agency last season by agreeing to a one-year, $5 million deal, he recorded 19.5 sacks, 58 total tackles, six forced fumbles and one interception, to cash in with Tampa one year later.

The 27-year-old recorded four multisack games against the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. That was despite Tampa’s defense ranking fourth-worst in the league in points per game allowed (28.1).

It’s been a wild few years for Barrett. The undrafted free agent out of Colorado State made the Denver Broncos in 2015 and recorded 14 sacks in five years. That might be due to how they used him. His defensive snap count topped 45 percent in just one season with the team, dropping all the way to 26 percent in 2018 before he left as a free agent. 

With Tampa Bay in 2019, he was on the field for 79 percent of the Bucs’ defensive snaps. The results were overwhelming. He was made a Pro Bowler for the first time last season and named second-team All-Pro.

Barrett has let it be known that he wants to stay in Florida for the long term.

“I want to be here,” Barrett told reporters in December. “I’m still going back home to Colorado to train and stuff there, but…I plan on being back here to start (organized team activities) and the season. That’s where I’m looking at right now. It’s the Bucs to lose, and I don’t think they’re going to lose it.”

After being given the franchise tag, though, he told Colleen Wolfe of NFL Total Access (h/t Grant Gordon of NFL.com) he was “50-50” on signing the one-year pact if a long-term deal was not reached. However, he made it clear a few days later that he would “definitely” sign the tag.

Barrett wound up signing his franchise tender Friday, but his salary for the upcoming season remains unclear. He filed a grievance, making the case that the 6’2″, 250-pounder should be tagged as a defensive end rather than as a linebacker. According to Over The Cap, there is $2 million difference between the defensive end tag ($17.8 million) and linebacker tag ($15.8 million).

With no long-term deal in place, the two sides will now have to wait and see how the grievance goes before figuring out Barrett’s salary for next season.

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