Bucs could reportedly franchise tag Shaq Barrett instead of Jameis Winston
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an interesting decision to make with their franchise tag this offseason, and what they do could ultimately determine whether or not Jameis Winston is back with the team next year.
The Bucs may use their franchise tag on star pass-rusher Shaq Barrett rather than Winston, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. They would prefer to work out a long-term deal with Barrett, but it would not be a surprise if they do everything necessary to keep the 27-year-old.
From our @NFLTotalAccess pre-Combine show: The #Bucs are strongly considering using the franchise tag on Shaq Barrett if they can't reach a long-term deal, while the #Chargers are in the same position with TE Hunter Henry. pic.twitter.com/QYZXaHxNXh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2020
Barrett had 19.5 sacks in his first season with the Bucs last year. He had 14 total in his first four NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, so it goes without saying that he was an outstanding fit in Tampa’s defense.
Winston is also set to become a free agent, though Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has openly said the team will look for a better option before deciding if Winston will be back. Arians has been critical of Winston for turning the ball over so much last year, and the Bucs may be placing a higher priority on retaining Barrett than Winston.