One of Tampa Bay’s top pass rushers won’t come cheap to play for the Buccaneers in 2021.
Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett will become a free agent in March and looks to have a bigger and longer payday. With the Bucs needing to sign a plethora of key players this offseason, retaining Barrett could significantly impact other signings.
Barrett voiced his desires for a new contract on Thursday with Adam Schein SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio according to NFL.com’s Kevin Patra.
“I feel like it’s time for me to break the bank now, and I most definitely want to do that to be able to set my family up better and most definitely going to keep producing, so it’s not like anything is going to fall off,” Barrett told Schein, per Patra.
Barrett played on the franchise tag this past season, making $15.8 million, per CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani. The Bucs and Barrett couldn’t agree to a contract extension in 2020, Dajani noted.
While the Bucs could anticipate a salary cap of $28,396,683 according to Over The Cap, it could shrink as NFL teams endured financial losses due to COVID-19. The league won’t make a decision on the new salary cap until it has media rights in place for 2021 per CNBC’s Jabari Young.
Barrett became a sack master with the Bucs in two seasons.
He made 19.5 sacks in 2019 and eight sacks in 2020, the second-best single-season total in his career. The two-time Super Bowl champ tallied 115 tackles the past two seasons.
“I still think I got a lot left in the tank,” he said to Schein per Patra. “I’m still getting better, actually. I’m still learning, like just still learning, like week in, week out. And there’s like, as you can see as the season progressed like … I ended the season playing the way that I wanted to play. And you can see that I did progress throughout the season, and I’m still progressing.”
Barrett played an instrumental role during the Bucs’ playoff run. In the NFC Championship win at Green Bay, he sacked quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times. Two of those sacks came when the Packers trailed 28-23 in the fourth quarter. In the Super Bowl, Barrett’s sack of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes kept the team buried in the third quarter, down 28-9 at the time.