Shaquil Barrett

NFL Restructures: 49ers, Humphrey, Barrett, Teller

The NFL has an offseason rule called the Top 51 rule. The Top 51 rule dictates that, from the start of the new NFL league year until the beginning of the regular season, only the top 51 contracts (in terms of salary cap hit) count against a team’s salary cap. With the 2023 regular season starting tomorrow, the Top 51 rule expired at 4pm today.

This means that each team in the NFL was forced to add two more contracts to their salary cap totals. If a team was flirting with the ceiling of the salary cap, the addition of two more contracts may push them above the limit. While that may not have been the case for all of the following teams, these front offices decided to take advantage of the timing to clear up some cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates:

  • The 49ers did double-duty, restructuring the contracts of tight end George Kittle and offensive tackle Trent Williams. For Kittle, the team converted $10.57MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the deal, clearing up $8.46MM of cap space. For Williams, San Francisco converted $18.24MM of the left tackle’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, also adding a single void year to the end of the deal. Williams’ adjustment cleared $14.59MM of cap space. The $23.04MM of cap space cleared in the restructures likely had less to do with the Top 51 rule and much more to do with star pass rusher Nick Bosa‘s record-setting extension.
  • The Ravens used the opportunity to adjust star cornerback Marlon Humphrey‘s contract. Baltimore converted $9.42MM of Humphrey’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus and added a single void year to the end of the deal. The adjustment created $7.54MM of cap space for the Ravens.
  • The Seahawks decided to create space by restructuring safety Jamal Adams‘ contract. Seattle converted $9.92MM of Adams’ 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, creating $6.61MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Buccaneers also targeted the contract of a defensive veteran, adjusting the numbers of pass rusher Shaquil Barrett. For Barrett, Tampa Bay converted $13.09MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the contract. The restructure clears up $10.47MM of cap space for the Buccaneers.
  • The Titans also addressed the contract of a pass rusher, restructuring Harold Landry‘s current deal. Tennessee converted $11MM of Landry’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, clearing up $8.25MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Broncos continue to miss the contributions of wide receiver Tim Patrick, who will once again miss the entire season, but Denver still found some value for him in a contract restructure. The team converted $6MM of Patrick’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus to clear up $3MM of cap space.
  • The Browns created some cap space by restructuring the deal of veteran offensive guard Wyatt Teller. Cleveland converted $11.42MM of Teller’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end his deal in order to create $9.14MM of cap space for the team.

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Defense

While the NFL’s top 2023 cap hits go to players on offense, a number of pass rushers are tied to lofty figures as well. None check in higher than Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Williams and Chiefs D-tackle Chris Jones carry high contract-year cap hits, while the Steelers’ two front-seven cornerstones each are set to go into training camp with cap figures north of $20MM. As the salary cap climbed to $224.8MM this year, here are the top defensive cap figures as camps near:

  1. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $32.26MM
  2. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $29.37MM
  3. Myles Garrett, DE (Browns): $29.18MM
  4. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $28.29MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DL (Rams): $26MM
  6. Arik Armstead, DT (49ers): $23.95MM
  7. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $22.26MM
  8. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $21.48MM
  9. Jonathan Allen, DT (Commanders): $21.44MM
  10. Shaquil Barrett, OLB (Buccaneers): $21.25MM
  11. Grady Jarrett, DT (Falcons): $20.63MM
  12. Marlon Humphrey, CB (Ravens): $19.99MM
  13. Shaquille Leonard, LB (Colts): $19.79MM
  14. Kevin Byard, S (Titans): $19.62MM
  15. Adoree’ Jackson, CB (Giants): $19.08MM
  16. Harold Landry, OLB (Titans): $18.8MM
  17. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.15MM
  18. Jamal Adams, S (Seahawks): $18.11MM
  19. Matt Judon, DE (Patriots): $18.107MM
  20. Quandre Diggs, S (Seahawks): $18.1MM
  21. Nick Bosa, DE (49ers): $17.9MM
  22. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $17.25MM
  23. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE (Dolphins): $17.19MM
  24. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE (Cowboys): $17.11MM
  25. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $17.1MM

The Chiefs are working toward a second extension agreement with Jones, who is in the final season of a four-year, $80MM contract. A new deal with the star inside pass rusher would free up cap space, and DeAndre Hopkins is believed to be monitoring this situation.

As for Williams, the Giants had wanted to adjust his deal to reduce his eye-opening cap number. As of mid-June, however, no extension appeared to be on the team’s radar. The previous Giants regime signed off on the 2021 Williams extension (three years, $63MM). The Giants are also uninterested — for the time being, at least — in extending Jackson, who was also a Dave Gettleman-era defensive addition.

Donald is in the second season of a three-year, $95MM deal. The Rams gave Donald a landmark raise last year, convincing the all-everything D-tackle to squash retirement talk. A no-trade clause exists in Donald’s contract, which pays out its guarantees this year. Mosley remains tied to the $17MM-per-year deal the Mike Maccagnan regime authorized with the Jets. That contract, which reset the off-ball linebacker market in 2019, still has two seasons remaining on it due to the deal tolling after Mosley’s 2020 COVID-19 opt-out call. The Jets restructured the deal last year.

Washington now has two D-tackles tied to deals of at least $18MM per year. While Daron Payne‘s pact is worth more ($22.5MM AAV), higher cap hits on that deal will come down the road. Three years remain on Allen’s 2021 agreement. At safety, no team is spending like the Seahawks. In addition to the big-ticket deals authorized for Adams and Diggs, Seattle gave ex-Giants starter Julian Love a two-year, $6MM accord in March.

New Titans GM Ran Carthon attempted to give Byard a pay cut. That request did not go over well, but the standout safety remains with the team and has not requested a trade. Tennessee re-signed Landry on a five-year, $87.5MM deal in 2022; the veteran edge rusher has yet to play on that deal due to the ACL tear he sustained just before last season.

The 49ers can bring Bosa’s number down via an extension, which has long been on the team’s docket. As San Francisco extended Deebo Samuel just after training camp began last year, Bosa received back-burner treatment due to the fifth-year option. The star defensive end’s price undoubtedly went up during the waiting period, with the former No. 2 overall pick earning Defensive Player of the Year acclaim in the fourth year of his rookie contract.

Bucs LB Shaq Barrett Suffers Torn Achilles

OCTOBER 31: The Buccaneers announced on Monday that Barrett has officially been placed on IR. That opens up a roster spot for a potential replacement, though no players of his caliber will be readily available so close to the trade deadline, of course. Tampa Bay sits in the middle of the pack with respect to cap space.

OCTOBER 28, 11:43am: Barrett’s MRI confirmed the tear, Adam Schefter of tweets. This is a tough break for Barrett and the Buccaneers, given the outside linebacker’s age and the team’s 3-5 record.

 OCTOBER 28, 8:32am: Reeling after a fifth loss in six games, the Buccaneers are staring at an equation that does not include their top pass rusher. Although tests are still to come, the team fears Shaq Barrett suffered a torn Achilles during Thursday night’s defeat, Ian Rapoport of reports (video link).

Barrett will undergo an MRI on Friday, but these ominous reports usually precede major injuries. This stands to be Barrett’s longest absence as a pro and deal a significant blow to Tampa Bay’s defense, a unit already battling uphill due to the state of the team’s offense.

Set to turn 30 next month, Barrett has been the Bucs’ top rush presence since signing a one-year deal in 2019. The former Broncos UDFA led the NFL with 19.5 sacks that year, prompting the Bucs to join nearly half the league in using their franchise tag during the 2020 offseason. Barrett is now signed to a four-year, $68MM deal — one that runs through the 2024 season.

The Bucs have not needed to play without Barrett for an extended stretch since he joined the team. The Colorado State product has missed just three games over the past three-plus seasons. He and Jason Pierre-Paul were instrumental in delivering the Bucs their second Super Bowl title, providing consistent pressure on Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes to close out that championship march.

Barrett combined for four sacks and eight quarterback hits in the Bucs’ final two games in 2020; his Super Bowl LV dominance led Todd Bowles‘ unit becoming the third defense to hold an opponent without a touchdown in a Super Bowl. As the Bucs brought back their entire championship core in 2021, they gave Barrett his sought-after deal.

After Barrett made his second Pro Bowl in 2021, the team moved on from Pierre-Paul. The elder edge rusher ended up signing with the Ravens, facing his former team Thursday night. Tampa Bay now has 2021 first-rounder Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in place as its top healthy pass rusher. Tryon-Shoyinka has 1.5 sacks and three QB hits this season. Backup edge rushers Carl Nassib, who returned to the Bucs after a Raiders stay this offseason, and Anthony Nelson have two apiece. Both should be expected to play bigger roles for Bowles’ defense, should Barrett indeed have sustained this major injury. Nelson will replace Barrett as a starter.

No guaranteed money remains on Barrett’s contract. Next season will be his 10th in the NFL; he is set to count $21.65MM against the cap in 2023.

Restructured Contracts: Saints, Floyd, Hyde, Barrett

While teams are currently focused on adding free agents, some front offices are looking to carve out some extra cap space. We’ve collected some of today’s restructured deals below:

  • The Saints opened up some extra cap space earlier today. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the team restructured the contracts of defensive tackle David Onyemata and offensive tackle James Hurst. The moves saved the team an extra $7.015MM. Onyemata inked a three-year, $27MM deal with the Saints in 2020, and he already reworked his contract last offseason. A year ago yesterday, Hurst inked a three-year, $9MM extension with New Orleans.
  • The Rams opened up $12MM in cap space by reworking Leonard Floyd‘s contract, according to Yates (on Twitter). Floyd signed a four-year, $64MM extension with the organization last year. In two years with the Rams, the edge rusher has collected 20 sacks, and he’s added another four in six playoff games.
  • The Bills converted $5.68MM of safety Micah Hyde’s contract into a signing bonus, opening $4.54MM in cap space, per Yates (on Twitter). The veteran signed a two-year, $19.25MM extension with Buffalo last offseason. Hyde has spent the past five seasons in Buffalo, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods while only missing a pair of regular season games.
  • The Buccaneers restructured Shaq Barrett’s contract, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The move should open up just under $10MM in cap space, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). After playing the 2020 season under the franchise tag, Barrett inked a four-year, $72MM deal ($36MM guaranteed) with the Buccaneers last offseason.

Buccaneers Activate Shaq Barrett, Place Richard Sherman On IR

The Buccaneers received good and bad news on the health front Tuesday. The defending champions activated pass rusher Shaquil Barrett from the reserve/COVID-19 list but moved cornerback Richard Sherman to injured reserve for the second time, a move that ends his season. 

In 15 games this year, Barrett has produced 51 total tackles, three forced fumbles and a team-leading 10 sacks. His return would be a major boost to the team’s pass rush and defense as a whole. His play from a dominant postseason last year carried over into 2021, as he was voted to the Pro Bowl a second time.

Head coach Bruce Arians expects to also have fellow outside linebacker Jason-Pierre Paul back, along with starting running back Leonard Fournette.

As for Sherman, the fact that he was placed on IR again means his Achilles injury was too much to overcome in time for the playoffs. He missed the team’s regular-season finale and had only played sparingly since his first two contests in Tampa Bay. His 11th NFL season ends with him totaling 11 tackles and one interception.

The Bucs will look to defend their Super Bowl title, beginning Sunday afternoon when the host the Eagles.

Latest On Buccaneers’ Injury Situation

The Buccaneers will be finishing the regular season with a number of key pieces missing. According to an injury update from ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Tampa Bay will be without their top two pass rushers, top two running backs and, in all likelihood, an experienced piece of the secondary. 

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett tested positive for COVID-19, which added another reason for him to miss Sunday’s game against Carolina. He is still recovering from a sprained MCL and ACL suffered during the team’s Week 16 win over the Panthers. In 15 games, Barrett has 51 tackles and a team-leading 10 sacks. His pass-rushing partner, Jason Pierre-Paul, will also be out due to a torn rotator cuff that’s kept him out since Week 15. Pierre-Paul has registered 31 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 12 games in 2021. In their absences, look for Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to start.

Meanwhile, backup running back Ronald Jones will be out after suffering an ankle injury in Week 17’s comeback win over the Jets. Head Coach Bruce Arians said, “we’ll have to wait and see on [Jones’] ankle because he can run straight but he still can’t cut”. The 24-year old had a walking boot on earlier in the week, but not any longer. Jones has 428 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season. Starter Leonard Fournette, in the meantime, remains on IR, but Arians is optimistic he will be ready for the playoffs. The Bucs would sorely miss his 1,266 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns if doesn’t get activated in time. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is expected to play, and likely start, in Week 18.

Finally, cornerback Richard Sherman is listed as doubtful with an Achilles injury. After suffering a grade 2 calf sprain in November, the 33-year old came back in Week 14. However, he has missed two of three games since, and continued a downward trend in terms of playing time. After being on the field for nearly every down in his first two games as a Buc, Sherman has played a total of 29 snaps since, registering 11 tackles and one interception. Despite the news, Tampa Bay’s secondary is healthy overall.

The Buccaneers head into the final week of the season as the NFC’s third seed, where they will likely end up. They could move up to second, however, with a win over the 5-11 Panthers, along with a 49ers win over the Rams. Regardless of where they finish, though, health will be a huge question mark as they try to repeat as Super Bowl champions.


NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/7/22

Today’s updates for the Reserve/COVID-19 list:

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Bucs’ Shaq Barrett To Miss Time

Shaquil Barrett will miss the Buccaneers’ final two games with sprained MCL and ACL, head coach Bruce Arians announced (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). However, the team is hopeful that he’ll be good to go for the playoffs. 

[RELATED: Bucs’ Godwin Done For Year]

Barrett suffered a “slight strain” during yesterday’s 32-6 romp over the Panthers. Before his exit, he tallied four tackles and one sack, giving him 51 stops and ten sacks through 15 games.

Barrett immediately broke out after signing with the Bucs in 2019, leading the league in sacks that season with 19.5 and becoming a second-team All-Pro. Last year, he registered eight sacks with 57 tackles and finished on a high note, notching eight pressures in Super Bowl LV. After playing the 2020 season under the $15.8MM franchise tag, the Bucs rewarded him in March with a four-year, $72MM re-up.

The Bucs have already secured the NFC South, so they don’t necessarily need Barrett on the field for their last two games against the Jets and Panthers. All things considered, today’s news comes as a relief, especially after Chris Godwin‘s season-ending ACL tear.

Shaq Barrett: I Wasn’t Going To Leave Buccaneers For ‘A Little More Money’

The Buccaneers did a great job keeping almost everybody from last year’s Super Bowl win around for 2021. They used their franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin, which meant they had to let star pass-rusher Shaq Barrett become a free agent.

Barrett was one of the top players available on the market, but he apparently never considered leaving Tampa too seriously. He said as much in an interview on Good Morning Football on Tuesday (Twitter video link), via Myles Simmons of

It might’ve been true [that I was offered more money elsewhere], but I didn’t listen to anybody else. I didn’t hear no other offers,” Barrett said. “I wanted to make it work down here in Tampa. We’ve got something special going down here, man. And I don’t want to let greed be the reason why I don’t take advantage of this opportunity down here. We’re starting to love Tampa. We love the fan support. And I’m just ready to keep building.”

The former undrafted free agent spent his first five pro seasons with the Broncos, but Tampa became home for him quickly in 2019. “I love my coaches. I love the organization — everything is like a match made in heaven down here, man. And I won’t let trying to get a little more money change that.”

Barrett immediately broke out after signing with the Bucs in 2019, leading the league in sacks that season with 19.5 and becoming a second-team All-Pro. As such, it’s not hard to see why he has such an affinity for the organization.

He played the 2020 season under the franchise tag for $15.8MM, and the team rewarded him back in March by giving him a new contract for four years and $72MM.

Buccaneers Re-Sign Shaq Barrett

Piece by piece, Bucs are keeping the band together. Edge rusher Shaquil Barrett has agreed to re-sign on a four-year deal worth as much as $72MM (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). The deal includes $36MM fully guaranteed and, remarkably, will carry a minuscule $5.6MM cap hit in 2021. 

As a free agent in 2019, Barrett received tepid interest. Offers came only from the Bucs and Bengals, and Barrett signed a one-year, $4MM Bucs pact. The Bucs tagged him last year, following his franchise-record-setting 19.5-sack season. Barrett will turn 29 later this year and seized his chance to secure a lucrative long-term deal.

Barrett’s rise through the football ranks has been meteoric. He started as a Division II recruit before switching to Colorado State. Then, he turned pro and spent 2014 on the Broncos’ practice squad. By 2015, he found a role in the Broncos’ defense.

After the 2019 tag, Barrett recorded eight 2020 regular season sacks and added four in the playoffs. He also finished on a high note, notching eight pressures in Super Bowl LV.

Barrett’s deal carries a base value of $68MM over the four-year stretch. The other $4MM can be earned off of escalators. If Barrett reached 15 sacks and the Bucs make the playoffs, he’ll add another $1MM to his forthcoming yearly salary. The average value of $18MM/year is solid, though several ticks behind Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett who will have ~$25MM/ year.

The Bucs have been busy this month, re-signing inside linebacker Lavonte David and deploying franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin. They also reached a one-year extension with quarterback Tom Brady to free up additional space — he’ll carry a lighter cap hit in 2021 with voidable years in 2023 and beyond.