ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that newly-signed edge rusher Shaq Barrett has reached a settlement regarding his franchise-tag grievance filed against the Bucs last year, awarding the veteran outside linebacker an additional $1.372 million the same week in which he signed a five-year, $68 million contract with Tampa Bay.
Rich get richer: Bucs are paying Shaq Barrett a settlement from last year's franchise-tag grievance in the amount of $1.372 million – in addition to his new contract this week, per source. Good week for Barrett and his bank account.
The grievance stems from the Bucs’ designation of Barrett as an outside linebacker and not a defensive end when placing their franchise tag on him in 2020, a designation that would ultimately pay him $15.828 million as opposed to $17.788 million on the one-year deal. And despite Barrett officially being listed as an outside linebacker, he played 791 of his 824 defensive snaps along the defensive line in 2020 after playing 863 of his 889 defensive snaps along the defensive line in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.
But what does this mean from a salary cap standpoint? PFF’s salary cap analyst Brad Spielberger – a recent guest on the Pewter Nation Podcast – noted that OverTheCap has already taken the grievance into account when detailing the Bucs’ salary cap situation, one that currently has Tampa Bay listed with just over $9.6 million remaining.
While the Bucs have already made a lot of progress toward “keeping the band together,” they still have some work to do with that remaining cap space. Tampa Bay has already extended quarterback Tom Brady, freeing up additional cap space, placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin and re-signed Barrett, linebacker Lavonte David and tight end Rob Gronkowski. They’re reportedly also in discussions with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, kicker Ryan Succop, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Leonard Fournette.
To make some, if not all, of these new contracts possible within the salary cap the Bucs could potentially work out additional extensions with players like left tackle Donovan Smith or center Ryan Jensen or restructure existing contracts throughout their roster.
Barrett joined Tampa Bay in 2019 on a one-year deal and totaled a franchise-record 19.5 sacks with 19 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles. In 2020, playing on the franchise tag, Barrett racked up another eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss in the regular season with four additional sacks in the playoffs.