Last week Bucs star defensive pass rusher Shaq Barrett told the NFL Network he was 50-50 on signing the franchise tag offered by the team.
On Monday Barrett announced on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he is definitely playing in 2020, either with a long-term deal or on the one-year $15.8 million franchise tag.
“Yeah, that’s accurate,” Barrett said. “I will most definitely be here next year.”
The 27-year old Barrett set a new Buccaneers franchise record with 19.5 sacks in 2019. The previous team single-season record was 16.5 sacks set by Warren Sapp in 2000.
The Bucs and Barrett have until July 15 to sing the tag or finalize a long-term deal. Barrett said the two sides are still in talks on getting that done.
“Yeah and I know that the team wants to try and sign me too, but it’s been tough with the way of the world,” Barrett told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn. “I thought we’d have more information last Friday but we talked and they said they wanted another week or two to try and figure stuff out, so I really don’t have new information, but I should have new information again this week.”
On a side note Barrett talked about the improvement of the defense over the last half of 2019.
“It did get a lot better,” Barrett said. “Well first coach [Todd] Bowles did a great job, he was able to communicate everything exactly for a way for us to understand that we were doing wrong, so that’s how we were able to get better and get a lot stronger throughout the year. Coach Bowles, he did a great job with us. Me personally, coach Bowles, coach Foote, the defensive line, the other ends, everybody, we just meshed so good together. I was also able to have as much time in the game as I needed to be to work moves, set stuff up, and I just think like this last year I was ready to take off and that’s what happened.
“I also thought I was ready the year before and I was kind of a lot of frustrated in Denver two years ago because I felt like they held me back a lot my fifth year. But I also love Denver, appreciate Denver, I wouldn’t be the player I am today without being in Denver. I learned so much from the guys, it was a great organization when I was there, everything just worked perfectly together.”