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Buccaneers star Shaq Barrett will play on the franchise tag if he has to

Shaq Barrett, Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t want to lose linebacker Shaq Barrett in free agency, which could mean the team may ultimately slap a franchise tag on him by the Monday deadline.

While that is typically something that peeves players, Barrett isn’t about to hold out if it ends up occurring:

“I’m gonna play off the tag [if] I got to but I do want that long-term deal,” Barrett said on NFL Network this week. “It’s all about security for me and my family; that’s all I’ve been fighting for my whole time in the NFL. Even a franchise tag, I’m still getting the security too but I just want a long contract and long-term security.”

Remember: even if the Buccaneers decide to tag Barrett, it doesn’t mean they can’t reach a long-term contract at some point this offseason, as the two sides would have until July to come to an agreement.

Tampa Bay signed Barrett to a one-year deal last March, and Barrett went on to enjoy a breakout season, racking up a league-leading 19.5 sacks to go along with 58 tackles, an interception and six forced fumbles en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance.

The 27-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Colorado State, went undrafted but eventually landed with the Denver Broncos in 2014.

Barrett spent his first five seasons with the Broncos, amassing a grand total of 14 sacks.

As a result of Barrett’s shaky track record prior to joining the Bucs, some think that signing him to a lucrative long-term deal could be risky.