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Shaq Barrett Says He's '50-50' on Signing $15.8M Buccaneers Franchise Tender

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 25, 2020

TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 10: Shaquil Barrett #58 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sacks Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of a football game at Raymond James Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on star edge-rusher Shaquil Barrett, but the NFL's reigning sack leader says he is "50-50" on signing the tender before the July 15 deadline.

"It's still up in the air right now, about 50-50," Barrett told Colleen Wolfe of NFL Total Access (h/t Grant Gordon of NFL.com). "We'll find out a little more information on Friday."  

Barrett had previously told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he would "play off the tag" in hopes of landing a long-term deal.

"I'm going to play off the tag. I've got to," he said. "But I do want that long-term deal. It's all about security for me and my family and that's all I've been wanting my whole time in the NFL is getting that security."

Barrett, who played five seasons with the Denver Broncos before inking a one-year contract with the Bucs, is certainly deserving of a long-term contract after registering a league-high and team record 19.5 sacks. Per Gordon, he was also No. 1 with 37 quarterback hits and No. 3 with six forced fumbles. His 68 quarterback pressures were third in the league, per Next Gen Stats.

The difference between the non-exclusive franchise tag and an exclusive franchise tag is important in Barrett's case.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com provided a breakdown of what the former, which was used on Barrett, means:

"This is a one-year tender offer for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position over the last five years, or 120 percent of his previous salary, whichever is greater. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player's current team has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if he signs with another organization."

If July 15 comes and goes and Barrett does not sign with the Bucs, he could land with another team. But that franchise would need to give Tampa Bay two first-round picks, in addition to a presumably massive deal for the 27-year-old's pass-rushing services.

Therefore, it's unlikely that a team will be willing to sign Barrett, especially considering the fact that it could theoretically wait until the 2021 offseason to land him as a free agent without the draft-pick penalty.

Barrett cannot be traded, nor can he be fined for missing offseason practices and workouts.

The Bucs also have the option to rescind the tag if they so choose, which would make Barrett a free agent. That also seems unlikely given how well he performed for the Tampa Bay defense last season.

If Barrett signs the tender by July 15, his $15.8 million would be fully guaranteed. If he does not, then he could still sign with Tampa Bay on a one-year deal. However, he wouldn't be able to negotiate a long-term contract until after the season ends.

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