While this was the expected outcome between Shaquil Barrett and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 2019 NFL sacks leader has been franchise tagged for 2020.
Shaquil Barrett was one of the most surprising parts of the 2019 NFL season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers brought Barrett in as a free agent, one that was not even in a starting spot to start training camp. As training camp progressed, Barrett was able to earn a starting role and then never looked back.
The Buccaneer pass rush was revolutionized due to Barrett and it was almost a foregone conclusion from the middle of the season that the Bucs would have to bring Barrett back to keep their pass rush maintained.
While the deadline to place the franchise tag on a player is March 16th at noon, the Buccaneers got in just before the wire with Adam Schefter reporting the news at 8:22 AM on the same day as seen below.
Barrett was always the most likely player for the Buccaneers to franchise tag as having a top-tier pass rusher is pivotal for every NFL team.
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This is a phenomenal move for Tampa Bay. Barrett was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL last season, but the franchise tag gives the Bucs the ability to remain cautious.
While all signs point to Barrett retaining his dominance in 2020, long term contracts are often given out based on consistency rather than one flashy season.
It is an extremely unlikely scenario, but there was a chance that the Bucs could’ve given Barrett a massive contract with guaranteed money only to see his production drop off. Even though this is probably not the case, it is best to see if these high levels of production can be maintained before investing too much.
“Sack Barrett” now has an extremely important year before him. He may make more money in this one season than any year previous, but Barrett won’t be satisfied just yet.
The Buccaneers will be watching closely, but if Shaquil Barrett has a performance in 2020 that even partially resembles 2019 he will have a massive contract coming his way in 2021.