Buccaneers free agent DE/OLB Shaq Barrett said during an appearance on NFL Network Thursday that he expects to be back in Tampa Bay for the 2020 season.
“I’m expecting to still be down here in Tampa. I feel as though we both feel that we got a lot of good momentum from last year we’re gonna build on,” Barrett said. “So, we’re gonna try to work that out and figure out what that’s going to look like but I’m confident I’ll be down here.”
Barrett explained that he isn’t looking for a change of scenario after his breakout 2019 season.
“It is important to me. It’s like all my success as a starter is down here and it’s not broke. There’s no reason for me to want to try to go fix something that’s not broke,” Barrett said. “So, I’m on board but I still do understand it’s a business so I am preparing for anything. Emotionally, I think it’s going to be down in Tampa.”
Reports have said Barrett is likely to be franchise tagged, but he’s still hoping to get a long-term deal in place with the Buccaneers.
“I’m gonna play off the tag [if] I got to but I do want that long-term deal. It’s all about security for me and my family; that’s all I’ve been fighting for my whole time in the NFL,” Barrett said. “Even a franchise tag, I’m still getting the security too but I just want a long contract and long-term security.”
The franchise tag would cost the Buccaneers around $17 million fully guaranteed for the 2020 season should they use it on Barrett.
Barrett, 27, signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State in 2014. He was waived coming out of the preseason and re-signed to Denver’s practice squad.
After bouncing back and forth between the practice squad and active roster, Barrett landed on the active roster at the end of his rookie year. Barrett signed with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent in 2019 to a one-year, $4 million deal.
In 2019, Barrett appeared in all 16 games for the Buccaneers and recorded 58 total tackles, 19.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, one interception and two pass defenses. He was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 25 edge defender out of 107 qualifying players.
We have him included in our Top 100 – 2020 Free Agents list.