Buccaneers: Will Shaq Barrett refuse to sign the franchise tag?

Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Could Shaq Barrett refuse to sign the franchise tag with the Buccaneers?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star edge-rusher Shaquil Barrett revealed earlier this week that his agent and the Bucs were scheduled to discuss his contract situation and that he would know more about what his next move will be following the meeting on Friday.

Though following the 2019 season finale, Barrett said he would sign the franchise tag if he couldn’t work out a long-term deal with the Buccaneers, it seems the edge-rusher has changed his tune slightly.

Speaking with the NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe, Barrett said that everything was still ‘up-in-the-air’ currently and that there was about a 50-50 chance that he would sign the franchise tag.

Barrett, who has been adamant about the desire to get a long-term deal, had the franchise tag placed on him earlier this spring.

The whole Barrett situation could be tricky for the Buccaneers

As we prepare for the 2020 season, there are several outcome that could result from these negotiations, and they really breakdown as follows:

  • Shaq Barrett signs the franchise tag, plays a season and is free to negotiate following this year
  • The Buccaneers sign Barrett to a long-term deal, likely having to restructure to fit him under the cap
  • The Bucs don’t give, Barrett doesn’t give. The result is a standoff of some sort that likely ends badly.

Though this seems like a lot could happen, the truth of the matter is that Barrett has consistently expressed interest in playing in Tampa Bay  and he doesn’t strike me as a player who would want to ‘hold out.’ That makes option No. 3 unlikely.

In the end, the negotiations will take place between Barrett’s agent and the Bucs and we’ll see what happens. Tampa Bay may have found a restructure to go ahead and sign him. There may be some negotiation to do on both sides of the table.

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If a deal can’t be worked out, it’d be my expectation that Barrett will sign the franchise tag and play next season on a much-higher contract than any of his previous deals. He could choose to sit out if a long-term deal can’t be reached, but that doesn’t line up with what we’ve heard from him the past.