On the heels of his first season in Tampa Bay after recording an NFL-high 19.5, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was given the franchise tag by the team this offseason after failing to agree to terms on a long-term contract extension prior to the start of free agency. Barrett signed a one-year, $4 million prove-it contract last year, but the franchise tag is worth $15.8 million in 2020.
Yet Barrett is one of five NFL players who hasn’t signed a franchise tag contract. The others are Bengals receiver A.J. Green, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Broncos safety Justin Simmons.
“It’s still up in the air right now, about 50-50,” Barrett said on NFL Total Access on Wednesday in an interview with Colleen Wolfe. “We’ll find out a little more information on Friday.”
Could Barrett and the Bucs be close to signing a long-term extension? As of this earlier this week, no progress had been made. Both sides have until July 15 to negotiate a multi-year extension otherwise Barrett will play the 2020 season on the one-year deal and then be slated for free agency again in 2021.
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.
Barrett admits that topping his 2019 production is going to be hard this season, and said that isn’t his ultimate goal.
“So, usually, before I had 19 and a half sacks, [my goal] was always to improve statistically, but trying to get 20, 21 is going to be hard,” Barrett said. “But I’m still setting it far up there. I just want, as a team, to help my team win a game, make a play every game, help the team win, make the playoffs.”