Shaq Barrett will be playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2020, but there’s a big caveat.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barrett has signed his franchise tender with Tampa Bay. He has, however, filed a grievance against the NFLPA seeking to be classified as a defensive end, not a linebacker as he was tagged as.
Bucs pass rusher Shaq Barrett has notified Tampa that he officially has accepted his franchise tender, but with an asterisk: he has filed a grievance with NFLPA to be tagged as a DE, not a LB, @RosenhausSports tells ESPN. There’s a $2 million diffference between a DE and an LB.
Shaq Barrett had been optimistic about getting a long-term deal done with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but things appear to have changed.
Barrett was franchise tagged by the Buccaneers this offseason, and the two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. That is growing less likely, according to the defensive lineman.
“Long-term will probably be pretty hard with the situation of the world right now. I think we’re working on a deal, but it probably won’t be long (term),” Barrett told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
Barrett added, however, that he would “for sure” sign his franchise tender if no long-term contract is agreed.
The 27-year-old came out of nowhere last season to lead the NFL with 19.5 sacks. He was ready to take a discount with the Buccaneers, but the negotiations don’t seem to have gone as planned. The likelihood seems to be that he’ll be on the franchise tag in 2020.
An exclusive franchise tag for Dak Prescott, that would pay the quarterback over $30 million, has been expected. Prescott being tagged would also mean Amari Cooper is possible to hit free agency, though the Dallas Cowboys would still like to get him under contract.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tagging Barrett would mean quarterback Jameis Winston could negotiate with other teams as a free agent.
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.
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.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have key offseason decisions ahead, and one big one may have major implications on the rest of their roster.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Buccaneers may use their franchise tag on defensive lineman Shaq Barrett if the two sides cannot reach a long-term deal. That would mean the Bucs have to find another way to retain Jameis Winston if they wish to do so.
Bucs are strongly considering placing their franchise tag on pass rusher Shaquil Barrett if the two sides are unable to reach a long-term deal, per league source.
Also notable is this: Placing franchise tag on Barrett means there’d be no franchise tag left for Jameis Winston.
We don’t know what this means for Winston yet. The quarterback is set to become a free agent, and by all accounts, no decision has been made yet on his future. He’d been mentioned as a possible candidate for the tag, but this would rule that out and force the Buccaneers to either move on or look for alternate ways of keeping him.
Shaq Barrett came out of nowhere to lead the NFL with 19.5 sacks in his contract year in 2019, but he has some reasons for staying loyal to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Barrett has said he wants to stay with Tampa Bay after one year there, and has two reasons why: one is the lack of state income tax, and two is the fact that he simply hates moving. Both of those are significant enough factors that he’s willing to give the Buccaneers a bit of a hometown discount.
“If [other teams] offer me more than Tampa, I’m going to look at the places, if they offer me more than Tampa, I’m going to look at what their taxes is compared to Tampa’s. Because I ain’t going to live in L.A. and get taxed crazy,” Barrett told SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio, via JoeBucsFan. “I’m not going to take drastically less but I am open to doing what I think is best for my career, and I think that would be staying in Tampa.”
The income tax angle is an underrated consideration for athletes, but it can have a huge impact on someone’s earnings — just ask Russell Westbrook. Barrett, to his credit, knows what he does and does not want, and has taken a lot of factors into account. It seems like it would be a surprise if he leaves Tampa now.
As the NFL’s regular season draws toward a close, it’s worth looking back at some of the players who have made the year so much fun. While many of these are predictable names that we expected to shine, there are others that will probably come as surprises. Every year, we’re treated to some breakout NFL performances, and 2019 was no different.
Here are five players who really broke out and starred in 2019.
5. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
Godwin entered his third NFL season with a solid reputation. He was considered a good red zone target (seven touchdowns last year), but was otherwise viewed as a complementary piece. That’s not the case anymore. Godwin had 1,333 yards receiving in 2019, and his touchdown total jumped to nine. He managed to outshine Mike Evans at time and become an unquestioned No. 1 level receiver. He could have easily surpassed 1,500 yards receiving, but a hamstring injury scuttled that.
4. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Steelers
There was nothing fundamentally wrong with Fitzpatrick’s start to his career in Miami, but he wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire and, by 2019, didn’t seem to want to be there. The Steelers came and picked him up out of exile, and he’s quickly become one of the key players in a formidable Pittsburgh defense. He has five interceptions in just 13 games with Pittsburgh, and has vaulted himself into a conversation about the elite defensive backs in the game.
3. Shaq Barrett, LB, Buccaneers
Barrett collected 14 sacks in five seasons with the Denver Broncos before moving to Tampa Bay on a one-year deal during the offseason. Expectations were certainly low, and all Barrett has done is rack up a league-best 16.5 sacks and become one of the sport’s elite pass rushers. The fact that he did it out of nowhere underlines just how surprising this breakout is, but there’s no ignoring the numbers. He’s put himself in line for a very big payday thanks to his surprisingly great 2019 season.
2. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
Chubb was a good running back in 2018. He averaged 62 yards per game, fell only four short of 1,000, and could have done more with additional volume. In 2019, he received that volume, and he has proven himself as a result. His 1,408 yards lead the NFL in rushing, and he’s over 1,000 yards per game to go along with it. Chubb has earned the right to call himself one of the best running backs in the NFL and is one of the few bright spots in what has been a dreadful season for the Browns.
1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
It’s easy to forget now, but there were still a lot of questions surrounding Lamar Jackson at the start of the season. Was he a good enough passer? Could he stay healthy? Was the scheme Baltimore was building for him actually going to allow him to be successful? The answer to all these questions has been “yes”, and then some. Jackson leads the league in touchdown passes, has already set the record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season, and is probably going to win MVP. It’s safe to say that’s a breakout — a huge breakout, in fact, and one that has us excited to watch him play for years to come.
The 2019 NFL regular season is now one month away from its conclusion, which means free agency and all that comes with it is not too far away. It also means teams have to begin to determine who will get their franchise designation should they be inclined to hand out the tag.
Most NFL players are not fans of the franchise tag, and they could make an effort to get rid of it, but at least in 2020, it will remain. Accordingly, some potentially hot free agent targets will get tagged by a team in an effort to keep them in the building.
Here’s a look at five players who could receive franchise tags.
5. Shaq Barrett, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We’ve discussed Barrett previously here at Larry Brown Sports, suggesting that he may be in line for a massive contract in 2020. That remains a possibility, but it’s also entirely possible the Buccaneers can’t meet his demands and slap him with the franchise tag, essentially keeping Barrett in town for one more season while trying to work out a contract extension that works for both sides. In 12 games this season, he’s recorded an impressive 14.5 sacks to go along with six forced fumbles, four stuffs and one interception.
4. Justin Simmons, S, Denver Broncos
After two solid seasons to start his NFL career, Simmons fell off the map in 2018, and many assumed the team would not look to re-sign him once his rookie contract expired. However, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has completely course-corrected Simmons in 2019, who is playing at a Pro Bowl, if not an All-Pro level. To go along with his elite PFF grade of 90.7, Simmons has recorded 70 tackles, 10 passes defensed and three interceptions in 12 games this season. He’s also allowed just 19 receptions on 35 targets, which is one of the better ratios for a safety in the NFL. Needless to say, the franchise tag seems likely for Simmons, especially when considering the run that’s expected on the position once free agency hits.
3. Brandon Scherff, RG, Washington Redskins
Some will immediately point to Scherff’s nine penalties as an argument against the franchise tag, but when looking at the full sum of the parts, that’s clearly his weakest area. Scherff remains an elite-level guard capable of pass protecting and run blocking, and that is difficult to come by in today’s NFL. If he’s allowed to reach the free agent market, Washington will be unlikely to get him back given the trend in recent years to vastly overpay for offensive line talent (even low level talent). The two sides held extension discussions earlier in the season but they fizzled, so don’t be surprised to see Washington slap Scherff with the franchise tag and then aggressively negotiate a new deal.
2. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are going to have an interesting and difficult decision on their hands this offseason. Forget about the fate of head coach Jason Garrett, they’re going to need to determine who is more worthy of the franchise tag: Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. It seems highly unlikely that Jerry Jones would risk losing either, so expect to see Prescott land the big extension he’s been angling for, leaving Dallas to slap Cooper with the franchise tag. He may not be thrilled with that after earning big money over the previous two seasons, but that’s the cost of doing business in the NFL.
1. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Who in the world could have ever possibly seen this coming? After his career with the Dolphins went bust, Tannehill was traded to the Titans to serve as Marcus Mariota’s backup. However, after Mariota began the season poorly and found himself benched, Tannehill was thrust into the starter role and has excelled. He has led Tennessee to a 5-1 record since taking over under center, while passing for nearly 1,500 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions over that span. The Titans are now one game behind the Houston Texans for the AFC South lead, and placing the franchise tag on Tannehill has become a very real possibility. If he continues to play well over the final month of the season, you can take it to the bank that he’ll remain in Tennessee in 2020.
Every season there are some players who step up and outplay their current contract. There are also players who have big years just as they’re about to hit free agency, setting themselves up for big pay day. This season we have several players who fit in either category.
Here’s a look at five players who are now primed for a big contract in 2020 thanks to how well they’ve played this season.
5. Markus Golden, LB, New York Giants
There’s not much going well for the Giants on the defensive side of the ball, but that is no fault of edge rusher Markus Golden. Two years removed from a torn ACL, and back under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Golden is experiencing a bit of a career resurgence — something he banked on when signing a one-year deal with Big Blue this past offseason. Through 10 games, Golden leads the Giants with 6.5 sacks and seems to be a relatively consistent force when on the field. He’s on pace to eclipse 10 sacks for the first time since his remarkable 2016 campaign. He will undoubtedly be considered among the best available pass rushers in free agency next year.
4. Shaq Barrett, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After four underwhelming seasons in Denver, Barrett signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers this past offseason and like Golden, has seen an impressive career resurgence. He’s managed to not only find a niche, but to also excel under Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles in Tampa Bay, recording 11.5 sacks and one interceptions through 10 games this season. And while he has slowed down slightly after a torrid start (nine sacks in his first four games), there will be plenty of teams willing to shell out some big-time dough for him come 2020.
3. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper seems like he should remain in Dallas where his career has completely taken off, but there’s been little progress on contract talks between the two sides, so the wide receiver now prefers to wait on negotiations until after the season. That will allow for a potential bidding war, assuming he’s not designated the team’s franchise player. As much as he may want to remain with the Cowboys, big money elsewhere could alter his thinking. In 10 games this season, Cooper has 56 receptions for 886 yards and seven touchdowns, which are numbers that extrapolate to career highs across the board over the course of 16 games.
2. Kyle Van Noy, LB, New England Patriots
Is Van Noy a young star in the making or is he just another product of a Patriots system that manages to milk the very best out of every player who comes along? It really doesn’t matter, because Van Noy has been a star on one of the most dominant defenses in decades, and every GM across the league is just waiting for the opportunity to open their checkbook. In nine games this season, Van Noy has recorded 32 tackles, 5.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. He’s played well against the run and in coverage, and his 85.7 PFF rating is among the best at his position in all of football. Some may view Van Noy as a “no name” on New England defense, but I assure you talent evaluators don’t look at him the same way.
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, New Orleans Saints
When Bridgewater signed a one-year deal to return to the Saints this past offseason, some were surprised. After all, Bridgewater, years removed from a gruesome leg injury, was looking for an opportunity to prove to NFL executives he could still perform at a high level. Getting an opportunity to prove that seemed unlikely behind Drew Brees, but that all changed when Brees suffered a thumb injury in Week 2. Bridgewater, a former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year contender, took advantage of the opportunity, completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,370 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions over seven games (5-1 as a starter). Whether or not he sees the field again this season, someone will probably pay Bridgewater big money in 2020.
Sometimes, NFL players come out of nowhere to have successful seasons. In other cases, one might see it coming. Either way, the NFL breeds new stars every year, and they’re not just the top draft picks or highly-touted young talents. Sometimes, guys who were on the backburner or off the radar step up and turn into quality players.
Here are five breakout players so far in the 2019 NFL season.
5. Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
All the ingredients were in place for a Mack breakout before the season, so this one doesn’t come as a huge shock. Still, he’s been particularly invaluable to the Colts after Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement, and at times has carried the offense. He burst onto the scene with 174 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Chargers, and his 132 rushing yards were instrumental as the Colts took down Kansas City. Mack is on pace to push for 1,500 rushing yards in 2019.
4. Terry McLaurin, WR, Redskins
Given the offensive struggles on Washington’s part this year, it seemed pretty unlikely that anyone would break out for them on that side of the ball. Enter McLaurin, a third-round rookie who has managed to become one of the NFL’s leading receivers in spite of inconsistent quarterback play and modest talent around him. Scary Terry had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season on Sunday, is on pace for well over 1,000 yards, and has scored in four of five games this year. Not bad for a first-year player at all.
3. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
Chubb has quickly emerged as one of the NFL’s finest lead backs. After falling just shy of 1,000 yards as a rookie, he looks a sure bet to get there and well beyond this season as long as he doesn’t get hurt or see his workload significantly reduced by Kareem Hunt’s eventual return. Chubb’s worst game of the season has been 62 yards on 18 carries, which is perfectly respectable, and he’s one of the few Cleveland offensive cogs to actually work properly in 2019.
2. Shaq Barrett, LB, Buccaneers
Barrett signed a modest one-year deal with Tampa Bay before the season and promptly emerged as the NFL’s sack leader through six games. After never posting more than 5.5 sacks in a season, Barrett already has nine for Tampa Bay in 2019, including four in one game against the New York Giants. Barrett has turned into a quality pass rusher that teams have to gameplan for. The numbers bear that out, and life in Tampa seems to be treating him very well.
1. Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars
Nobody has done more to take the NFL by storm than Minshew, who wasn’t even supposed to play until Nick Foles suffered a Week 1 injury. The rookie won back-to-back starts against Tennessee and Denver, looking like a capable NFL quarterback in the process. In six games, he’s put up a respectable nine touchdowns to only two interceptions, and would actually be on pace to push for 4,000 passing yards over a full season if given the chance. He’s captivated a lot of people, and it helps that he’s really quite meme-able.