The expectation all along is that Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett will command one of the largest free agent deals of any player this offseason, widely expected to be in the $19-20 million per year range. But former sports agent Joel Corrywrote this week that Barrett should be asking for a lot more, putting the pass rusher’s asking price into a range that would make him one of the highest paid edge defenders in the league.
This was Corry’s suggested asking price for Barrett’s camp in negotiations.
Contract package: $110 million, five years ($22 million per year) Overall guarantees: $68 million
The projections I’ve seen from other cap experts for Shaq Barrett have come in closer to a 4-year, $19-20 million per year type of contract, which is significantly less overall money than Corry’s suggested offer. If met, Corry’s asking price would make Barrett the fourth-highest paid edge defender in the NFL in overall money, per year money and overall guarantees, following only Joey Bosa, Myles Garrett and Khalil Mack.
The most interesting part of Corry’s proposed agreement is the length of it, as most contract guesses for Barrett have come in at four years. Because Barrett is already 28 and will be 29 in November, a five-year deal would have Barrett turning 33 in the final season of his next contract. The guarantee structure Corry suggests would likely mean Barrett could be released before the fifth season with no dead cap hit to his team, but the Bucs current cap situation means that a lot of Barrett’s $68 million in overall guarantees would need to be paid in 2022 and 2023 with the team looking for a lower 2021 cap hit for Barrett to keep other free agents like TE Rob Gronkowski, DT Ndamukong Suh, K Ryan Succop and WR Antonio Brown around.
Of course, this is just an asking price, not Corry’s final prediction of what a contract for Barrett will actually end up being. Always start high in negotiations, then come down a bit if you feel the other side is offering fair compensation.
Barrett is looking for his first big contract after not getting his chance as a full-time starter in the NFL until arriving in Tampa Bay two years ago on a one-year, $4 million deal. All Barrett has done since then is lead the league in sacks with 19.5 in 2019, then post eight more in 2020 and four in an epic playoff run to a Super Bowl Championship. Barrett has 30 tackles-for-loss and eight forced fumbles in 31 career regular season games with the Bucs.
Barrett has been vocal about his desire to return to Tampa Bay above finding a new home, and the Bucs have been just as vocal in their desire to keep him around. Corry’s suggested asking price is probably a good place for agent Drew Rosenhaus to start in negotiations, but it doesn’t mean that is what Barrett will cost in the end. Still, there might be a desire on the edge rusher’s part to hit the market and see what else is out there before making a final decision on his next destination.
The legal tampering period for free agency begins on Monday at 4pm EST, when free agents can begin to speak to other teams about a new contract. Free agency opens on Wednesday at 4pm EST, when all expected signings can become official.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft