Shaquil Barrett Says COVID-19 Pandemic Prevented Agreement on New Bucs Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

While Shaquil Barrett signed his one-year franchise tender with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 2019 Pro Bowler acknowledged a longer deal proved difficult to finalize amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It was pretty much just the whole situation with COVID," Barrett said of the unsuccessful negotiations, per the Tampa Bay Times' Kyle Wood. "It was too much up in the air, so we weren't able to get on time or get really the right negotiations going because we really didn’t know anything."

Barrett added that he didn't end up feeling slighted by the situation.

"They did make it clear that they love me, they like me, they want me," he said. "And when the time is right, we might be able to get something going then in the right direction."

The pandemic didn't preclude Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa from getting massive extensions. Garrett got a five-year, $125 million contract from the Cleveland Browns, while Bosa re-signed for five years and $135 million. They rank first and second in average annual salary among defensive players, per Spotrac.

Barrett is a slightly different case, however. He's coming off a monster season in which his 19.5 sacks led the NFL. That was only his first full year as a starter, having been overshadowed by Von Miller on the Denver Broncos.

It's way too early to call Barrett's 2019 a fluke, but the Bucs might have some reservations about whether he can carry his production from last year into 2020.

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And that's independent of any financial ramifications caused by the pandemic.

For now, Barrett will earn a little more than $15.8 million in 2020, with the opportunity to play his way into a more lucrative multiyear contract next offseason.