In a move that wasn’t entirely unexpected, the Bucs have franchise tagged Shaquil Barrett, a move that all but ensures he will return to Tampa Bay for the 2020 season. The franchise tag will carry a base salary of $15,828,000 in 2020 so the Buccaneers will be looking to get a more cap-friendly, long-term deal done before the July 15th deadline.
Originally signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State back in 2014, Barrett has slowly worked his way up in the eyes of NFL executives. Having played his last three years under one-year deals he will likely be looking to get his future secured with a long-term deal.
Shaquil Barrett takes off in 2019
Having signed a 1-year prove-it deal $4-million with Tampa Bay in free agency 2019, Shaquil Barrett went on to lead the NFL in sacks with 19.5 and added 45 solo tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 37 quarterback hits in one of the best seasons ever by an edge rusher.
Barrett had registered 14 total sacks in 77 games (33 starts) with Denver from 2015 to 2018. The massive explosion in production may be a slight concern for Tampa Bay as a long-term deal will count on him being able to reproduce that level. However, given the glut of edge players in Denver, he had only started 15 games in his time there.
In fairness to Barrett, it does seem that he was a victim of the depth they had at the position in Denver. According to PFF, Shaquil Barrett has graded as elite in two of his last four seasons, and those two seasons were the ones where he played his most snaps.
A versatile defender, Barrett has also racked up over 300 coverage snaps in his career, as well as a near-even split with his rush and pass defense snaps (1,020 to 1,1413). A genuine three-down player, Barrett looks well worth that long-term deal that would tie him up, and move the cap numbers around into a more palatable range.
The tagging of Shaquil Barrett almost certainly signals the departure for fellow free-agent Carl Nassib whose six sack season was consistent if unspectacular as his season was curtailed by a groin injury.