Shaq Barrett speaks out on long-term deal falling through with Tampa Bay
Shaq Barrett was hoping to earn a long-term deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Outside variables, however, prevented it from happening. While Barrett will play under the franchise tag in 2020, he spoke out on his long-term deal falling through with Tampa Bay this offseason.
“It was pretty much just the whole situation with COVID,” Barrett said, via Kyle Wood of the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”
Before free agency began, the Buccaneers placed their franchise tag on Barrett to prevent him from signing elsewhere. Despite placing the tag on him, Tampa Bay wanted to ink Barrett to a multi-year contract. However, the coronavirus pandemic tossed a wrench into the Buccaneers’ plans for Barrett.
Last offseason, Barrett signed a one-year, prove-it deal with Tampa Bay. It’s safe to say Barrett exceeded expectations, recording a league-high 19.5 sacks, 37 quarterback hits, and six forced fumbles. As a result of his efforts, the Buccaneers and Barrett had mutual interest in getting a new contract finalized.
With that being said, the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap situation due to COVID-19 made Tampa Bay hesitant on inking a deal. Although, the Buccaneers weren’t the only team to fall short of signing their tagged played long term. Altogether, only two of the 14 players to receive tags were signed to multi-year contracts.
At the least, the Buccaneers are going to have Barrett back with the team in 2020. And if he produces a similar season like 2019, then Tampa Bay will almost have no choice but to sign Shaq Barrett long-term.