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Buccaneers’ Shaq Barrett speaks out on possible lucrative extension after Chris Jones’ deal

Shaq Barrett, Chris Jones, Buccaneers

The Kansas City Chiefs managed to sign defensive end Chris Jones to a lucrative four-year, $80 million deal ahead of the July 15 deadline. Unfortunately, the restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have made it difficult for fellow players on a franchise tag like Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett to make any headway in negotiations.

Barrett said during an appearance on NFL Network that while he would like to get a long-term deal done, he has already embraced the prospect of playing out the 2020 NFL season in Tampa Bay:

“I would love to get a deal done,” Barrett said. “I know they would love to get a deal done. But just the situation of the world right now is making it hard to get a deal done. So if we get one done, I’m going to be happy; it’s a blessing. But if not, I’m still happy to be down here for another year and potentially to get a deal done in the future once we do figure out how the season’s going to go and how next year possibly will be. I still have some hope for it, but I’m more optimistic for the one-year to get done over a long-term deal.”

Barrett is coming off a breakout 2019 campaign that saw him register a league-leading 19.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two pass deflections, and an interception. However, there were a number of factors that stalled negotiations such as the ongoing pandemic and the major moves the Bucs made on offense this offseason.

The onus will now fall on Barrett to prove that last season was no fluke by following it up with another Pro Bowl–caliber year. The stage will certainly be set for a Buccaneers team that generate plenty of hype with the arrival of quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

All the exposure should help pay huge dividends for Barrett once he tests the market as a free agent in 2021. For now, he is hoping that the franchise tag he plays under will have him registered under the $17.788 million for defensive ends instead of the $15.828 million for linebackers.